Around 30 people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are being contacted by the Cabinet Office to warn them about the content of Sue Grey’s Partygate report.
Most of the letters are believed to have been sent out on Thursday, as the Metropolitan Police concluded their investigation into lockdown violations at Downing Street and Whitehall.
Mr Johnson is expected to be among those the Cabinet Office team is reaching out to, but No10 had no update on whether he had received a letter on Friday night.
The Prime Minister and Ms Gray are understood to have held at least one meeting during the preparation of the report to keep abreast of the report’s progress, but at no point was its content discussed.
Such meetings were not considered unusual, a source said, aiming to take stock of the status of the report.
Not all individuals contacted by the Cabinet Office are necessarily named or otherwise identified in the report – their actions may merely be referenced because they are relevant to the narrative of a particular event.
It is understood that investigators do not include the full details of the content in the letters, but instead give those who are addressed a “gist” of the relevant sections.
Earlier, Mr Johnson had insisted he would not seek to block names appearing in the senior official’s report and said he looked forward to seeing its content “fairly soon”.
The Prime Minister said he was “very grateful” for the Met’s investigation, which ended with 126 fines.
There have been calls for answers about how the Prime Minister had escaped with just a notice of deposit (FPN), although it was believed he was present at several rule-breaking events.
Additional potentially damaging details, including the names of some of the gatherings’ participants, will be released in the Gray report.
Sources close to the investigation expect it to be released early next week.
Referring to reports the Prime Minister met with Ms Gray during the drafting process, a No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister commissioned the inquiry led by Sue Gray and has been clear throughout that it should be fully independent.
“As he reiterated today, the decision on what to release and when is entirely up to the investigative team and they will respond in Parliament once it is finalized.”
Mr Johnson declined to apologize again for breaking the rule in No 10 during a visit to Hilltop Honey’s factory in Newtown in Powys, Wales on Friday.
When asked if No. 10 would prevent names from appearing in the report, he said: “That’s entirely up to Sue Gray and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she has to say and crossing my fingers quite a bit soon next week.”
Officials affected by the Gray investigation, including those to be named, will be contacted to give them an opportunity to respond before the current draft is finalized for publication.
There have been calls to Scotland Yard to explain how Mr Johnson was fined for his 56th birthday gathering in June 2020, when indoor mixing was banned.
Former Chief Public Prosecutor, Lord Ken Macdonald, warned: “It is very difficult for us to disentangle exactly how the police investigation went and how fair it went”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think, without the police providing an explanation, it’s very difficult for us to understand why they came to the conclusions they did.”
The Crossbench peer said it is not known why the Prime Minister was fined for his presence at one of the less serious events but not others.
Nor was there an explanation as to why Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who was forced to withdraw from conducting the civil service inquiry after reports emerged of a Cabinet Office Christmas party, was not fined.
The Met declined to identify anyone in its £460,000 inquiry.
A team of 12 investigators examined 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries, witness statements and 204 questionnaires.
They also examined 510 photos and CCTV images.
Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were all fined during the birthday celebration.
But both Johnsons have been told by police they face no further action, according to Downing Street, and Mr Sunak has not received an additional fine.
The Met said 28 people received between two and five fines.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/boris-johnson-sue-gray-metropolitan-police-cabinet-office-government-b2084025.html Around 30 people have warned about the content of Sue Grey’s Partygate report