Boris Johnson to give major Commons statement on Partygate TODAY after being handed Sue Gray’s report into No 10 bashes

BORIS Johnson will give a major statement to the Commons this afternoon after being handed Sue Gray’s report into the Partygate scandal.

The PM will be on his feet in the chamber at around 3.30pm and is expected to issue a grovelling apology to MPs over lockdown-busting bashes at No 10.

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Boris Johnson will make a Partygate statement to the Commons this afternoon[/caption]

He will vow to learn lessons from the controversy that has threatened to end his premiership, and will hint at an overhaul of his top team.

But he can expect to face a barrage of questions from angry Tory MPs who want him to quit and another mauling by Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Boris has already been handed the findings of Sue Gray’s report, which will be published at before his statement.

The PM broke cover this morning and insisted he’s sticking to his guns when grilled on concerns the probe will prove to be a whitewash.

He was pressed on the latest about the investigation into lockdown-busting bashes during a visit to Tilbury port in Essex.

Whitehall’s top enforcer has finished her probe into a series of around 20 bashes held in Downing St across the two years of Covid lockdown.

Her findings could prove a make-or-break moment for the PM and spark a flood of no confidence letters from Tory MPs.

But it will be heavily redacted, with the most serious allegations blanked out because of an ongoing police investigation.

Boris has been handed the findings and now has a few hours to read them in his office.

The conclusions will then be sent to MPs and published on the Government website.

Asked this morning whether the report will be a whitewash, the PM insisted: “Of course, I stick absolutely to what I’ve said in the past.

“You’re going to have to wait and see both what Sue says and of course what the Met says.”

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But there is set to be huge controversy over the number of details that will have to be left out of the report.

The Met has asked Ms Gray to only make “minimal reference” to eight of the parties which are at the centre of its investigation.

Officers fear publishing in-depth accounts of those bashes could compromise their own evidence-gathering.

Scotland Yard is only looking at the events that would represent the most serious breaches of Covid laws at the time.

And foreign secretary Liz Truss has suggested other details may also have to be left out for “security” reasons.

WHITEWASH FEARS

Labour has insisted that the report must be published in its entirety to avoid any suspicions of a cover-up.

But that is now not set to happen until after the police have finished their investigation, which could take weeks or even months.

Even so, the dossier may still prove highly damaging for the PM at a time when he’s starting to win round some Tory MPs.

It could include scathing conclusions about the drinking culture at No 10 and criticise Boris’ leadership.

A garden cheese and wine party, a basement disco with a DJ on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, and the PM’s birthday bash are all being probed.

There have also been conflicting claims about what level of detail and evidence the dossier will contain.

It has been claimed the file includes photos of the PM drinking wine with aides as part of the allegations of rule breaking.

Ms Gray has also secured access to emails and WhatsApp messages as well as door security logs as part of her probe.

But she may only publish her conclusions about whether the parties broke Covid rules, and not all the evidence.

PM FIGHTBACK

And on top of that he still faces the prospect of becoming the first sitting PM in 16 years to be interviewed under caution by police.

Boris has been running a last ditch shadow whipping operation in a desperate bid to win back support from Tory MPs.

Many backbenchers have spent the last few weeks plotting to oust him, with 54 letters needed to trigger a no confidence vote.

But close allies believe there are signs the rebellion is starting to flag and that rank and file members now believe Partygate has been “overblown”.

Boris has apologised for attending some of the bashes being probed but insists he didn’t break the law.

Last week he told MPs he welcomed the investigation as it would “give the public the clarity it needs” and help draw a line under matters.

But even his closest allies admit he will be toast if it’s found that he breached his own strict Covid rules.

The police probe could see No10 aides or even the PM slapped with fixed notice penalty of at least £200.

It was claimed that Sue Gray’s report includes photos of Boris Johnson drinking wine with aides as part of the allegations of rule breaking
Top civil servant Sue Gray has been investigating the bashes held in Downing St
AFP
Met Police chief Cressida Dick has launched a separate criminal probe into some of the parties[/caption]



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