Metropolitan Police have asked Sue Gray to make “minimal reference” to potentially No. 10 potential offenders in her report, the force has confirmed.
In a statement released Friday morning, Met said that “for the events that Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference in the Cabinet Office’s report”.
It comes after an unexpected delay in the release of the long-awaited internal investigation into events in Downing Street, allegedly due to a “legal scrubbing” process.
Scotland Yard, which runs a parallel criminal investigation into some of the more potentially serious incidents, added that it “did not ask for limitation of other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had regular contact with the Cabinet Office, including the content of the report ”.
The statement said the requests for some details were omitted had been “to avoid damaging our investigation”.
Boris Johnson is still anxiously awaiting Mrs Gray’s report, which could trigger a vote of no confidence in his leadership of Conservative MPs who are angry over alleged breaches of the lockdown rules.
But MPs waiting for the report to be published before launching an attempt to remove the prime minister could have their plan derailed if it shows up with the most potentially harmful results removed.
Downing Street confirmed Friday morning that it had not yet received the report, which may not be published until next week.
Sources close to the Sue Gray investigation have previously indicated that the official investigator was concerned about the prospect of releasing a report that did not contain all of its key findings.
Sources from the Cabinet Office at Frida this morning pointed to the terms of reference of the study, which requires it to determine the nature of the meetings, including participation and compliance with the guidelines in force at the time.
The department says the results will be made public and that what the Metropolitan Police are investigating is up to Scotland Yard to decide.
Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced that a criminal investigation had been launched on Tuesday, after weeks of calls for one.
Officers have not confirmed how many events they are investigating, but reports have suggested the number could be as high as eight.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said the case risked giving “the appearance of an establishment”.
“So first the police were waiting for Sue Gray, now Sue Gray has to wait for the police?” he said.
“Any apparent establishment link between the Met Commissioner and the government is deeply damaging. Police officers need the public’s trust and confidence to carry out their work and keep our community safe.
“That’s why we called the police to investigate the number 10 weeks ago and put this whole boring case behind us instead of waiting for Sue Gray.
“The Sue Gray report must be published in its entirety, including all photos, text messages and other evidence. If it is edited now, a full, unedited version must be published as soon as the police investigation is completed.”