I ‘leaked’ Sue Gray report as I was angry over pal’s death in lockdown & couldn’t be there for him, says Joe Lycett

COMEDIAN Joe Lycett has revealed his motivation behind “leaking” Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report on Twitter.

The TV star today showed a more serious side to himself as he spoke about losing a friend to cancer during the first lockdown.

Comedian Joe Lycett has revealed a more serious side of himself[/caption]
Boris Johnson is awaiting Sue Gray's 'partygate' report
Boris Johnson is awaiting Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report

The hilarious version of the impending probe seemed to strike a nerve in Downing Street – as ministers were reported “running around panicking” thinking the jibe was real.

Lycett has now told how a friend’s death motivated his social media stunt in which he shared a fake version of Gray’s report – containing a mock summary of her seven main findings.

The TV star, who was described as causing chaos and mass panic after his joke earlier this week, has said it feels “fantastic”.

In a tweet, the 33-year-old said: “I’m angry right now probably for the same reason many other people are angry.

“In the early stages of lockdown in 2020 my best friend died from cancer.

“I watched him slip away, gradually, over months and all that comes with it.

“But he died, at the start of lockdown, and I wasn’t there because I was following the rules.

“We had a tiny insufficient funeral, because we were following the rules, and I drove his kids away from that funeral back to Birmingham without any sort of wake, because we were following the rules, and it felt unnatural and cruel and almost silly, but we did it because we followed the rules.

“So I suppose like thousands of others with their own stories, I’m angry about that.”

Lycett released a parody version of the report earlier this week – and it quickly went viral.

He wrote on Twitter: “BREAKING: Leaked Sue Gray report reveals shocking abuse of the rules. Hard to see how the PM can cling on after this.”

But after looking at the details, it was clear to see the comedian was having a laugh – writing that ministers played games called “Slow Dance” and “Pass the A***hole.”

And in the mock report, he said that that No.10 advisors called pre-party tests “T**teral Flows” instead of “Lateral Flows.”

The fake report, which has been liked over 50,000 times, read: “A summary of my main findings: 

“A culture of Covid-19 regulation rule breaking at Number 10 Downing street.

The comedian sparked chaos after posting the fake leaked report - which struck a nerve in Downing Street
The comedian sparked chaos after posting the fake leaked report – which struck a nerve in Downing Street

“Games were played which were known as ‘Slow Dance’ and ‘Pass the A***hole.

 “A number of WhatsApp groups were established to organise gatherings, with titles including ‘Definitely a meeting’ and ‘Down It Street.

“At one party, a senior minister insisted all cabinet members get onto a table and perform Pure and Simple by Hear’Say.

“Before one of the gatherings ********** who worked closely with the PM insisted everyone be tested and was subsequently referred to a ‘T**teral Flow’ by advisors.

“A video of the PM’s wife at one party confirms her attendance in which she is heard saying ‘it could be as few as four and as many as sixty kids’ lol.

“One advisor insisted this report makes clear ‘it is categorically not a breach of rules to be part of a human centipede if said centipede was formed prior to lockdown’.

“Please forward any queries to my email address ItsAllSueGravyBaby@aol.com.”

And before long, a “verified” cabinet minister messaged the comedian and told him his jokes had hit a little too close to home.


MP staff were “running around panicking from what it said” while MPs were “panic dialled to discuss” as they believed the leak was serious.

The worker clearly saw the humour in the jibe – and told Lycett: “Absolute legendary work well done.”

This comes as police chiefs have asked for details to be left out of the upcoming report into No 10 parties – throwing its publication into doubt.

The Met confirmed today it has told Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray to redact parts of her dossier that cover the events officers are investigating.

In a statement the force said including anything more than “minimal” information about the most serious bashes could prejudice its own probe.

Scotland Yard added: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.

“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed.

“But we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office , including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”

The full Gray Report would still be published but only after police inquiries have wrapped up, which could take weeks.

There have been almost 20 alleged parties, with officers only probing those that would represent the most serious breaches of Covid laws at the time.


Technology minister Chris Philp said No 10 still hadn’t received this report as of this morning and doesn’t know when it will be published.

Boris Johnson yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to release the dossier in full but wouldn’t definitely say some parts wouldn’t be redacted.

And the intervention from the Met will fuel fears the original version may prove to be a whitewash with any damning evidence kept back until later.

Labour says the probe must be published “in its entirety” and No 10 “cannot be allowed to cover-up or obscure any of the truth”.

It comes after The Sun revealed its publication, which will make or break Boris Johnson’s future, could be delayed by weeks.

There are now fresh doubts over whether Sue Gray’s document can be published while a police investigation is ongoing.

Top government legal advisers argue that her findings into alleged No 10 lockdown breaches must be delayed until after the Met inquiry concludes.

That could be weeks away. Dame Cressida had planned to wait for the Cabinet Office report to be released before deciding whether to launch a probe.

But she performed a spectacular U-turn on Tuesday in the face of criticism.

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