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Findings from partial report into UK govt’s lockdown parties

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Britain’s government has published part of a senior civil servant’s report into social gatherings held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff, when the U.K. was in coronavirus lockdown

Sue Gray was tasked with investigating 16 events between May 2020 and April 2021 at government buidlings. Of those, police are investigating 12, with four gatherings considered not to have reached the threshold for criminal investigation. Gray’s partial report on Monday was only allowed to discuss the four gatherings not being investigated by police. Once police are done, she is allowed to produce a full report but the Conservative government has not promised to publish it.

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Here are some key points from Gray’s partial report.

— “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behavior surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.”

— “At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.”

— “At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.”

– “There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”

— “The excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time. Steps must be taken to ensure that every government department has a clear and robust policy in place covering the consumption of alcohol in the workplace.”

— “Some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviors they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so.”

— “There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across government. This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded.”

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