In a 40-minute battering in the Commons, the Paymaster General, Michael Ellis, defended the Prime Minister or deferred an answer pending an outcome of the investigation into “gatherings” at number 10 Downing Street. Perhaps most notably, he stated that the Prime Minister was “going nowhere”
It is being investigated if, on the 20 May 2020, the prime minister and his wife Carrie were among around 40 people at a social event held in the Downing Street garden, during the UK’s first national COVID lockdown.
Angela Rayner, for Labour, asked an urgent question. She said she was disappointed that the prime minister wasn’t present himself, even though he had no other engagement, and that he shouldn’t hide behind an investigation. And then put the question, did the prime minister attend an event on the 20 May 2020 in the Downing Street Gardens ?
Michael Ellis, deferred answering saying that we needed to see the outcome of the investigation that will be “swift”
Andrew Jones MP said:
The work of the Second Permanent Secretary, cabinet office (Sue Gray) is both important and urgent.
Can my right honourable friend give any indication as to when it may be completed ?
Paymaster General, Michael Ellis said:
I can only say that the Prime Minister has asked that the investigation be swift, and I have no other indication other than that.
Sue Gray is the Second Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, and currently undertaking an investigation into reports of various social events being held at 10 Downing Street over the 2021 Christmas period and on 20 May 2020.