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Shapps refuses to deny Johnson suggested Sue Gray abandon publication of her report – UK politics live | Politics

Sir Roger Gale, one of the Conservative MPs most crucial of Boris Johnson over Partygate, is urging his colleagues to again a vote of no confidence in him.

I consider that the PM has misled the HoC’s from the despatch field. That is a resignation challenge. I’ve made my very own position clear. It is now a matter for my Conservative parliamentary colleagues to resolve whether or not or not to instigate a vote of no confidence.

— Sir Roger Gale MP (@SirRogerGale) May 24, 2022

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I consider that the PM has misled the HoC’s from the despatch field. That is a resignation challenge. I’ve made my very own position clear. It is now a matter for my Conservative parliamentary colleagues to resolve whether or not or not to instigate a vote of no confidence.

— Sir Roger Gale MP (@SirRogerGale) May 24, 2022

For a no confidence vote to happen, 54 Tory MPs (15% of the parliamentary celebration), have to write to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, calling for one. When the Partygate scandal erupted earlier within the year, earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine, one report claimed that Johnson’s critics have been solely two letters brief of the edge. (Apart from Brady, nobody is aware of, as a result of the method is confidential.) But since then some MPs who submitted letters have withdrawn them, and now a management problem appears unlikely.

Chris Mason, the BBC’s political editor, says the Sue Gray report could also be revealed at lunchtime tomorrow.

Downing Street thinks it might nicely get the report from Sue Gray as quickly as tomorrow morning, with a press release within the Commons from the Prime Minister at lunchtime. https://t.co/bsm8XHaGXu

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) May 24, 2022

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Downing Street thinks it might nicely get the report from Sue Gray as quickly as tomorrow morning, with a press release within the Commons from the Prime Minister at lunchtime. https://t.co/bsm8XHaGXu

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) May 24, 2022

Good morning. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, draw the brief straw final night time and he has been touring the studios defending Boris Johnson following the publication yesterday of images of the PM ingesting at what has been described because the leaving celebration for his director of communications, Lee Cain, on 13 November. From the images, it actually appears to be like like a celebration. But when Johnson was requested, at PMQs a year later, if a celebration had taken place in No 10 on that date, he mentioned no.

Shapps might be probably the most achieved media performer within the cupboard – he’s actually probably the most succesful of sounding affordable within the face of persistently hostile questioning – however even he was struggling this morning. On sure factors he may probably not defend Johnson in any respect. Here are the important thing traces.

  • Shapps wouldn’t deny stories that when Boris Johnson met Sue Gray a number of weeks in the past to talk about her report into Partygate he suggested she ought to abandon plans to publish it. This declare is in a narrative by Steven Swinford and Oliver Wright in the Times who report:

The Times has been instructed that Johnson suggested Gray ought to drop her plans to publish her report throughout a secret meeting with him earlier this month. Steve Barclay, his chief of workers, was additionally mentioned to have been current.

“He asked her, is there much point in doing it now that it’s all out there?” a Whitehall supply mentioned. “He was inferring that she didn’t need to publish the report.” Another added: “They were exploring this idea of not having any report. It was being talked about [in Downing Street]. But politically they realised they couldn’t do it.”

Asked if this was appropriate, Shapps instructed Sky News:

I wasn’t within the room so I don’t know that’s the case. Exactly what was mentioned, I don’t know.

Occasionally issues get reported that aren’t solely correct, the civil service have been there to guarantee that all the proper processes have been adopted so I’ve no explicit cause for concern concerning the two of them meeting.

  • Shapps refused to settle for that the occasion the place Johnson was photographed was a celebration. He instructed Sky News:

The question is, was [Johnson] down there partying? No, clearly not. He’d passed by to say thanks and lift a glass to a colleague who was leaving.

On BBC Breakfast, when requested to settle for it was a celebration, Shapps mentioned: “It’s certainly a leaving event.” And on the Today programme he defined why he didn’t assume the image confirmed Johnson partying:

It appears to be like to me that he was requested to go and thank a member of workers who was leaving, raises the glass to them, and I think about comes out and in fairly fast, which is presumably why the police haven’t issued a hard and fast penalty discover to the prime minister for a second.

Shapps additionally mentioned the pictures additionally confirmed Johnson standing by his ministerial purple field. He went on:

Those are the bins that ministers carry their work in. It reasonably means that he doubtlessly left his office, got here by way of that office, thanked a member of workers who was leaving [and left soon afterwards].

  • Shapps couldn’t clarify why Johnson instructed MPs that there was no celebration in No 10 on 13 November 2020. Asked why Johnson mentioned that, Shapps replied: “The prime minister will answer for himself. He has said that when the Sue Gray report comes out, he will come to the house and answer fully.”
  • Shapps mentioned Johnson could be “disappointed” by what occurred and that he would now want he had not attended the occasion. Shapps mentioned:

I additionally settle for the prime minister has lengthy since apologised, has made elementary reforms in No 10 and have little question if he had his time once more he wouldn’t have dropped by to say thanks to a member of workers leaving.

  • Shapps refused to again requires the Metropolitan police to clarify why Johnson was not fined over this occasion. Earlier Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, instructed the Today programme the Met ought to clarify their resolution making. But, requested if he agreed, Shapps mentioned:

I don’t the police ought to struggle working commentaries, no. They can have had entry to all of the proof, lots of of images … If you’re asking for transparency, there are heaps of other ways for this to occur. But I wouldn’t count on the police, be it the Met or the Durham police [who are investigating Keir Starmer over an alleged breach of lockdown rules] to present working commentaries both.

  • He mentioned the publication of the Sue Gray report was “imminent”.

Here is the agenda for the day.

Morning: Boris Johnson chairs cupboard.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a foyer briefing.

12pm: Ofgem officers give proof to the Commons business committee about vitality pricing. At 1pm Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, offers proof.

After 12.30pm: MPs debate the Northern Ireland Troubles (legacy and reconciliation) invoice.

I attempt to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s not possible to learn all of them. If you will have a direct question, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra doubtless to discover it. I do attempt to answer questions, and if they’re of normal curiosity, I’ll put up the question and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you need to appeal to my consideration shortly, it’s most likely higher to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

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