No 10 prepares response for top civil servant’s resignation over Partygate report

Exclusive: Downing Street anticipating departure of senior staffer who reports suggest could be Partygate scapegoat

Anna Isaac
Wednesday 25 May 2022 08:28
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<p>Reports have suggested No 10 could make Simon Case a Partygate scapegoat </p>

Reports have suggested No 10 could make Simon Case a Partygate scapegoat

Downing Street has prepared a response in anticipation of the resignation of top civil servant Simon Case over Sue Gray’s report into Partygate.

The planning document, seen by The Independent, comes despite the findings from Ms Gray’s report into lockdown-busting parties across Whitehall and Westminster not yet having been made public. The findings are also not meant to have been shared with No 10 at this stage.

The drafted letter notes Mr Case’s contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. It also notes he took on the role from Sir Mark Sedwill in September 2020, when the country was in the midst of facing Covid, its greatest challenge since the Second World War.

The preparations in No 10 have emerged after weekend news reports suggested Mr Case, Britain’s most senior civil servant, would become a scapegoat for No 10 in the aftermath of the Partygate probe.

An exclusive poll for The Independent found two-third of voters believe Mr Johnson should resign if he is heavily criticised by Ms Gray’s report.

Downing Street did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Ms Gray’s full report could be made public as soon as Wednesday.

Fresh claims of chaotic lockdown parties and all-night drinking at No 10 have piled further pressure on the PM as the publication of the report looms.

Former staffers described “wine-time Friday” drinking sessions which left bins overflowing with empty bottles.

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