Sue Gray pictured singing into same karaoke machine made infamous by Partygate report at alcohol-fueled Whitehall gathering

Sue Gray pictured singing into same karaoke machine made infamous by Partygate report at alcohol-fueled Whitehall gathering
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Tom Harwood

By Tom Harwood

Published: 06/06/2022

- 14:55

Updated: 06/06/2022

- 15:06

Sue Gray has been pictured singing into the same karaoke machine made infamous by her very own report into Downing Street lockdown parties, GB News can reveal

A Downing Street source who attended multiple gatherings during lockdown has spoken anonymously to GB News in an exclusive interview.

GB News' Tom Harwood has obtained an image of Sue Gray singing karaoke at what appears to be a party with alcohol within Whitehall.

She appears to be singing You’re The One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John from Grease.

The photo was taken before the pandemic and there is no suggestion of any lockdown-breaking behaviour on Ms Gray’s part.

But the image illustrates a culture within Whitehall that Ms Gray criticised when she wrote in her recent report’s general findings that “excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time”.

Sue Gray singing karaoke in Whitehall
Sue Gray singing karaoke in Whitehall
GB News

Sue Gray investigated the lockdown parties
Sue Gray investigated the lockdown parties

In the interview, our source suggests that a gathering with alcohol was held in the Number 10 garden while the Prime Minister was in hospital with Covid in April 2020.

Our source adds that there was an "air of invincibility" among some Downing Street staff due to the early pandemic belief that if you caught Covid once, people had natural immunity.

Our source adds that the easy availability of tests for staff as compared to the rest of the country at that time meant some staff’s mindsets were more disposed towards bending the rules.

And at least two members of Downing Street staff were said to have been shocked not to have received a fine from the Metropolitan Police’s Partygate probe.

When asked how many parties Boris Johnson attended, our source said: "I can’t… I can’t be sure exactly. Probably not many.

"But I think one of the telling things from the report was that Sue Gray didn’t have confidence that those parties covered in the report were an exhaustive list.

"She does say there could well have been more, and there were.

"For example, I think when the PM was in hospital there was a party.

"Or, not a party, but a gathering, in the garden. With alcohol.

"And the PM wasn’t in residence. And often these parties were disproportionately on a Friday, when the PM goes to Chequers."

When asked if this party took place while the Prime Minister was in intensive care, our source replied: "I think he was in the clear at that point.

"But it was towards the end of the week, and he certainly hadn’t been discharged yet."

GB News' Tom then asked: "Why is it important for the public to see a photograph of Sue Gray singing karaoke?"

Our source responded: "I think it gives a sense of the prevailing culture of the place and you know, that, that was how it was pre-pandemic and it continued into the pandemic.

"And it shouldn’t have continued into the pandemic but it was something that was there before and it didn’t necessarily arise from the pandemic.

"We didn’t suddenly think – everyone else is having a miserable time, we’re gonna have a great time – that’s not how it worked."

GB News can also reveal that the karaoke machine Ms Gray is using – kept in the Cabinet Office – was used in the 18 June, 2020, Downing Street Party detailed in the Sue Gray report.

In response to GB News' story, the Cabinet Office issued the following statement: "The picture predates any Covid restrictions."

A No 10 spokesperson added: “The terms of reference for the investigation sets out that Sue Gray was able to look at other alleged gatherings where there were credible allegations and these would be covered by the general findings in her final report.

“Both they and the Met Police have had access to all information relevant to their investigations which have now concluded.”

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