A SCOTLAND Yard probe into the Partygate furore was welcomed by Boris Johnson as a way to “draw a line” under the fiasco.
He is braced for the Gray report into alleged Covid rule breaking drinks at No10, which could be published as early as today.
Its verdict may trigger more calls from rebel Tories for him to resign but allies say issues such as the threat of war in Ukraine are more important. Photos of parties that show the Prime Minister close to other people and next to wine bottles have been obtained by the inquiry headed by top civil servant Sue Gray, it was reported by Sky News last night.
Westminster insiders expect the findings to be released this afternoon, despite the Metropolitan Police yesterday announcing its own probe into claims that Downing Street staff broke coronavirus restrictions covering the country at the time.
Officials insist Mr Johnson is convinced he did not break the law.
The Prime Minister’s supporters believe he will be cleared of any wrongdoing and will reassert his authority with a shake-up of his No10 team within days.
He told MPs yesterday: “I welcome the Met’s decision to conduct its own investigation because I believe this will help to give the public the clarity it needs and help to draw a line under matters.”
Aides said the PM was willing to be interviewed by officers and would “cooperate fully”.
Senior Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh urged: “When Europe stands on the brink of war and there is a costof-living-crisis, can we please have a sense of proportion over the Prime Minister’s being given a piece of cake in his own office by his own staff.”
Detectives on the sensitive probe were warned to be on their guard against any “political pressure”.
Glen Smyth, exMetropolitan Police Federation chairman, said: “Officers should not be subjected to internal pressure to do one thing or another. They should be left alone to carry out their inquiries.”
One police source claimed: “Officers working on this inquiry are stepping into career-threatening territory. There will undoubtedly be people out there who will wish to use their influence to get the result that suits them best.”
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