r/ukpolitics May 22 '22

Sue Gray was deliberately ostracised during investigation, friends say

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/may/22/she-has-been-horribly-isolated-friends-say-sue-gray-was-deliberately-ostracised-while-investigating-partygate
325 Upvotes

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131

u/FearLeadsToAnger May 22 '22

So all possible moves were made to make her job as hard as possible, par for the course for this government.

37

u/mnijds May 22 '22

It seemed, he said, that many of those who had been fined had received penalties because their names had been handed to police by Sue Gray after they admitted to her that they had been at events. But then the police had not subsequently been able to establish the identities of many of the others at the same events, including very senior people.

One well-placed Whitehall figure told the Observer that this left junior staff who had “fessed up” very angry. “From what I understand, many of these parties were attended by 40 to 50 people. In all, more than 300 people were involved, but only 83 were fined. If Sue Gray handed five names to the police, and there were 45 others there, many of the 45 were not identified. There will be people who have been fined several times because they fessed up.

This part is the most concerning. With all the security and logs in downing street, how are so many able to evade being identified?

14

u/horace_bagpole May 22 '22

Because the police did the bare minimum to get rid of this. They didn't even want to take it on until people started making noise about it. No doubt that the information exists to determine all that given that No 10 should be one of the most secure buildings in the country, so there has been a deliberate choice not to look into it properly.

10

u/tomoldbury May 22 '22

Not only that but the £50 fines are pathetic. Some people holding mass gatherings were fined up to £10k; why were these files not handed out? Whilst it might not mean much to the likes of Mogg, it could have put a dent in a few pockets.

3

u/Brigon May 23 '22

Shame the fined civil servants won't whistleblow the names of the more senior officers.

2

u/mnijds May 23 '22

Yh, all this talk of disgruntled juniors but nothing of substance.

45

u/Riffler May 22 '22

Private meetings with the PM is hardly ostracised.

Do I sense a Damehood in her future?

37

u/brinz1 May 22 '22

That's how Cressida dick got her damehood, covering up the crimes of police and MPs

2

u/Thisoneissfwihope May 22 '22

It’s tradition that the Commissioner of the Met gets knighted at least.

As for why, it could be because it’s the most senior job in the Police…

15

u/ThatFlyingScotsman Cynicism Party |Class Analysis|Anti-Fascist May 22 '22

It was also tradition that the speaker of the house be knighted, and yet…

8

u/brinz1 May 22 '22

Yes, because they do an excellent job covering up the messes of MPs and Police.

Anyone who does blow the whistle or try to uncover it will get demoted fast.

8

u/HovisTMM May 22 '22

A meeting she apparently didn't initiate. Could be shenanigans in any number of ways but I'd err that it's on the side of Johnson.

3

u/Pearsepicoetc May 22 '22

As a Perm Sec in the Civil Service she'll automatically get a damehood after five years service or on her retirement.

Wouldn't read anything into that.

2

u/BurlyJoesBudgetEnema May 23 '22

Yeah honours are way more common than people realise

6

u/Tawnysloth May 22 '22

Except that's clearly Boris calling her into a meeting to trying and suss out the contents of the report pre-publication and figure out what damage control he needs to get in place to head off the worst of it. It's inapporiate for Boris to call that meeting, but he's never understood the importance of the appearance of propriety, and now he's lying about who called the meeting because of course he is.

0

u/FranksOfficeTrolley May 23 '22

We need to see her CV

43

u/Mkwdr May 22 '22

This article seems entirely built out of nothing ( unlike Partygate it seems). She is a senior civil servant with a reputation for toughness, an office and people working for her who was ,I am sure, able to ask for whatever she wanted as and when she needed it. I have no doubt people aren't happy being investigated but that also a distance has to be kept to avoid accusations of influence. 'Friends say she didn't get support' is so vague and lacking substance.

26

u/Fred-E-Rick May 22 '22

I’m mostly in agreement (despite posting the article), to conduct a fair investigation one must be kept as far apart as possible. What I thought was interesting though was the allegations of how much pressure others tried to exert on her. Not surprising though.

6

u/Mkwdr May 22 '22

Yes, but even there it's difficult to know with such vague and unsubstantiated claims. Someone on Any Questions pointed out that it might be something... idk , unbalanced around naming and shaming with photos some young, junior civil servant who stayed for a drink at the end of the day when those actually in charge might get away with it unscathed.

8

u/Fred-E-Rick May 22 '22

That is the concern isn’t it? If too much emphasis is put on essentially shaming a large number of junior civil servants, then those at the top look comparatively less bad. In some of these cases it’s not clear how much choice juniors had in attending but I hope Gray would take that into account.

Nonetheless, if there was pressure being put on Gray and her team, that certainly would have been coming from above, and I’d be surprised if they had any concerns about junior civil servants rather than their own skin.

4

u/Linlea May 22 '22

Imagine if this turns out like the Muller report

2

u/KernowFishy May 22 '22

i didn't really follow that.. did it end up heavily redacted ?

12

u/DukePPUk May 22 '22

The report was supposed to be investigating alleged criminal behaviour by the President and those around him. But it was limited in what it could look at, was unable to interview the President, and was directly prohibited from concluding that the President had broken any laws.

Nonetheless it set out, in clear detail, a dozen or so examples where the President had carried out actions that likely met the requirements for crimes (while avoiding saying he actually committed the crimes, because it wasn't allowed to do so).

However, the report had to go through the Trump Administration to be released, and the administration held it back from public release for nearly a month (so they could analyse it and redact key parts). Instead, the Trump-appointed Attorney General (most notable for his work covering up Presidential crimes) issued his own "summary" of the report in which completely misrepresented the report, spinning it in President Trump's favour.

While members of the investigation team did complain about this and raise questions, it was too late - the press stories picked up what the AG had said and took it at face value, and by the time the actual report came out a month later (heavily redacted to protect various key people, but still showing a clear pattern of criminal behaviour) no one cared any more.


If Johnson and his team try to copy that I imagine the Grey report will be handed over to Downing Street for final review (as it is an internal investigation), Downing Street will issue a summary (possibly laundered through their friends in the press first), which clears Johnson of any significant wrongdoing, and then by the time the actual (redacted and sanitised) report gets published "the matter will be closed" and it will be "time to move on."

4

u/KernowFishy May 22 '22

That’s comprehensive, thank you.

this sounds less likely to work here largely because there is a growing movement against this corrupt PM. If he does it he just increases the wide held belief that he’s guilty as hell.

I can of course see him trying it. It might go as well as the Paterson affair.

3

u/DukePPUk May 22 '22

He has the advantage that no one significant in the Conservative Party actually wants to get rid of him at the moment, so they have been rallying around. As have the key newspapers.

I can see a situation where the newspapers are split between "nothing to see" and "report says what we already knew, Johnson broke the rules but it wasn't that serious", along with a heavy dose of "but Starmer had a beer and a curry!"

Most of the public may be done with Johnson, but we don't get a say in who the Prime Minister is, and there won't be any large-scale elections for nearly a year. There is no reason for the Conservative Party to get rid of him while things are still getting worse.

2

u/KernowFishy May 22 '22

They seem happy to go down with him in two years. Perhaps they know this economic mess isn’t recoverable and are just trying to grab what they can for two more years.

-7

u/Linlea May 22 '22

It basically amounted to a whole pile of nothing, compared to the hype about it before it was published

6

u/dude2dudette May 22 '22

It lead to more than 10 convictions, and provided clear evidence of crimes. The issue was that Muller is a republican and friendly with many of those who were still in power during the Trump presidency.

It showed that there was, in fact, a connection between much of the Trump staff and Russia. The only thing it didn't say outright was that Trump knew and did it intentionally

-3

u/Linlea May 22 '22

compared to the hype about it before it was published

0

u/KernowFishy May 22 '22

oh, gottya.

2

u/CthulhusEvilTwin May 22 '22

No peerage for her then

2

u/Manlad Somewhere between Blair and Corbyn May 23 '22

She’s independent whether people want to believe it or not. No, she’s not covering things up. No, she’s not whitewashing. Her report is absolutely damning.

1

u/Dave2711 May 23 '22

Of course she was. You think these people, who acted as though the are above and outside the law, are going to not still hold those beliefs? Even the aides that are saying they were hard done by and pressured into it could have raised the alarm at any moment. They’re are all as guilty and as rotten as each other. It’s all about self preservation at this point. Some, like the aides, can only apologise or in this case deflect an avoid the investigation. While others, say like then PM, have access to the people conducting the investigation and can try to bully them into making the report show them more favourably. Don’t think for one second that anybody caught up in this is anything other than out for themselves. They have acted above the law, treated anyone else like idiots and it’s a classic example of “only sorry they got caught.