The public has moved far beyond waiting for Sue Gray’s nuanced judgements

Editorial: They want regime change and a new culture to prevail in Downing Street. After all, the voters pay their wages

Friday 14 January 2022 21:30
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<p>Perhaps some loophole in the law will be found by the civil servant tasked with investigating partygate </p>

Perhaps some loophole in the law will be found by the civil servant tasked with investigating partygate

More parties, more questions. This time the nation learns to some dismay, Downing Street hosted a double-header: a party for a departing director of communications (the irony), and another for someone else in the political image-building game, a photographer.

Given that, and the timing of the parties on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, it is entirely appropriate that the image that has accompanied the coverage of the story is of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years, a symbol of solidarity and leadership by example. The contrast in attitudes hardly needs amplifying.

Despite the apology since made from No 10 to Buckingham Palace, the problem for Sue Gray may be that the number and frequency of the parties – or “gatherings”, as the euphemism goes, over a period of many months – means that there may be relatively few staffers who didn’t get involved. If every career civil servant and every spad who boogied the night away was fired for betraying public trust, the Downing Street and Cabinet Office machines might find it difficult to function.

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