The Sue Gray report has been described by lawyers as “damning” and “brutal” and there is no need for redactions if the Met Police are to simply give “fixed penalty offences.”
The Gray report “update” which was published on Monday afternoon found a series of “failures of leadership and judgement” within No.10 whilst England was in lockdown.
Human rights barrister Adam Wagner, who has spent the pandemic interpreting complex Covid laws said the findings thus far are “damning” and “offer no mitigation.”
Wagner said, “The most important new information in the report is that the police are investigating all of the gatherings she was investigating except four.
“The key (perhaps only) defence of the Government will have been that these were unique circumstances, people working incredibly hard, practically living together etc. Sue Gray has dismissed that.”
He added, that Gray’s lawyer “will have helped her avoid using criminal liability language.”
Wagner told Sky News that the Scotland Yard investigation into No.10 parties “is still in the realm of giving fixed penalty notices” and there’s no legal reason Gray would need to “redact anything.”
The anonymous lawyer and author who is also known as The Secret Barrister said the findings were “brutal,” and he added, “Sue Gray’s report is redolent of a summing up from a judge who firmly believes the jury should convict.”
Describing the language as “carefully chosen,” they said, “It is not staff going rogue. It was permitted by those in charge.
“Who, it follows, must have known.”
Raj Chada, the head of the criminal defence department at Hodge Jones and Allen, told the PA news agency, “Whilst the report has been stripped of real legal meaning in terms of showing who breached the regulations, it gives the outline of what was happening that any prosecutor would be happy to fill in – a picture of parties and meeting up, with no regard to the rules in place.”
Nazir Afzal who is the former chief Crown prosecutor for the North West, said the report places “responsibility for serious failures” on the leadership of Number 10 and the Cabinet office.
Afzal said on Twitter, “Report says some staff wanted to raise concerns but couldn’t. It places responsibility for serious failures on No10 and Cabinet office leadership.
“It references events which puts Boris Johnson himself under criminal investigation.”
He added that it is “unnecessary” for the Gray report to be published in a limited form whilst the Scotland Yard investigation continues.
Afzal added, that the “Police don’t need these redactions for fixed penalty offences.”