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A statement to MPs by Boris Johnson on the Sue Gray “partygate” report has been delayed at least until Thursday, as the House of Commons reached the end of today’s sitting without any sign of the hotly-anticipated document.
The report, looking into allegations of lockdown breaches at as many as 15 events in Downing Street and Whitehall departments, had not been passed to No 10 by the time the Commons adjourned.
There is still a possibility that the report could be published this evening ahead of a debate tomorrow.
But expectations in Westminster were that the political world will have to wait at least until Thursday to see the findings of the Whitehall mandarin.
Mr Johnson has promised to publish Ms Gray’s findings and then make a statement to the Commons and respond to questions from MPs.
The decision on the timing of publication is for the prime minister, and it is thought No 10 will hold it back for a few hours to enable them to digest the report, and will then allow MPs some time to read it before going to the Commons.
There was no official explanation from the Cabinet Office for the failure to deliver the Gray report to Mr Johnson over the course of Wednesday.
It is understood that Ms Gray has completed the report, and that it is now going through the process of final sign-off, which could involve checks by lawyers and human resources teams and confirmation from the Metropolitan Police that nothing within it would cut across their separate criminal inquiry.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle indicated earlier today that he was ready to suspend the House before reconvening in the evening if No 10 requested a late statement.
But his deputy Dame Rosie Winterton later clarified that this could happen only if the request came in before