UK Prime Minister Johnson must explain his meeting with the author of the “partygate” report, according to the Labor opposition

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a statement on Sue Gray’s report into alleged Downing Street parties during the COVID-19 lockdown, at the House of Commons in London, Britain, January 31, 2022. UK Parliament/ British Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters

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LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labor Party has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to explain why he met a senior official to discuss the release of his final report at parties held at Johnson’s office in London. Downing Street during the COVID-19 closures.

“Boris Johnson must urgently explain why he held a secret meeting with Sue Gray to discuss her report when he claimed her investigation was completely independent,” Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said in a statement.

Sky News reported on Friday that the Prime Minister and Gray discussed where Gray believed the police were with their separate investigation, while the BBC reported on Saturday that the couple met to discuss the release of photos in its final report.

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British police ended their investigation on Thursday, after issuing 126 fines. Read more

Johnson has faced numerous calls from opposition politicians and some members of his own party to resign over the ‘partygate’ scandal after it emerged he and officials broke strict laws lockdowns enacted by his government.

A spokesman for Johnson’s Office Number 10 said on Saturday that the prime minister had made it clear that Gray’s report should be completely independent, adding that the decision of what and when to publish lay entirely with Gray.

The spokesperson did not respond to Rayner’s call for Johnson to explain the meeting.

A Cabinet Office source said on Thursday that Gray’s report would be released next week.

“Sue Gray’s report must be released in its entirety and with all accompanying evidence,” Rayner said on Saturday.

Johnson said once the report is published he would respond to parliament.

In interim findings released in January, Gray said alcohol-fueled events took place at Johnson’s offices and residence, and there were “serious failures of leadership.”

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Reporting by James Davey Editing by Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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