Commenting on the release of the Sue Gray report into Downing Street gatherings local MP Andrew Jones has commented:
“I was disappointed not to receive the full report into gatherings in Downing Street during lockdowns. I was also disappointed that the Prime Minister appeared unable to commit to releasing the full Gray report once the police investigation is over. That is why, following his statement, I pressed the Prime Minister to release the full report. I was pleased that later in the day he agreed to do so. It would have been simpler had he done so in response to my question.
“It is clear that what was published presents a sorry state of affairs in Downing Street and in the Cabinet Office. I think, even those who vocally support the Prime Minister staying in office, acknowledge that things happened that were wrong. I wanted to hear an apology which is direct and personal, not just for ‘mistakes that were made’ without specifying what they were and other apologies for ‘how this issue has been handled’.
“Sadly, we will have to wait until the outcome of the police investigation followed by the publication of the full report from Sue Gray to enable this matter to be concluded. The update we have received describes itself as “extremely limited” and recognises that “it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report” so conclusions are not possible without the full picture. It is clear though that there is significant evidence which the police are now reviewing. That evidence includes hundreds of photos. Interfering in a police investigation is obviously wrong, as are those politicians who have been calling for a police investigation and then saying the Prime Minister is hiding behind it. It is therefore a deeply frustrating time, but correct to let the police do their work. I think it is imperative that they work at pace and we can then see both their report and the full Sue Gray report.
“Full transparency at the earliest stage would have been best. Full disclosure now is essential. Until that is done, and the actions that might flow from that are taken, the public and the media will not move on. And we really do need to get this matter finalised and start talking again about the future and how we meet the challenges that face us.
“A number of people have asked me if I have given a letter calling for a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister to the chair of the 1922 committee – the government’s backbench committee. It takes 54 letters to trigger a vote of confidence.
“Letters can be submitted at any time and withdrawn at any time. Any answer any MP gives to that question gives therefore only a snapshot which may change from day-to-day. What I will say is that my discussions with the party whips and the chair of the 1922 committee remain confidential – just like my correspondence with constituents – but those discussions have been had and those with influence on this matter are fully aware of all the views I have been receiving from constituents.”