Minister insists that Boris Johnson would 'never intervene' in Sue Gray's partygate report

A Minister has insisted that Boris Johnson would “never intervene” in the partygate investigation, amid confusion over who called a meeting between the Prime Minister and senior civil servant Sue Gray.

Mr Johnson is under pressure to explain why he met the author of the long-awaited report into lockdown-breaching gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Education Secretary has now insisted the Prime Minister has “never intervened” in the senior civil servant’s investigation and Ms Gray’s integrity is “unquestionable”.

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Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News this morning: “All I can say to you is the meeting that took place between Sue Gray and the Prime Minister – I can’t tell you who called the meeting.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, London

He said he does not “know who called the meeting” or what was discussed and later added: “The answer is the Prime Minister will never intervene in Sue Gray’s investigation. The Prime Minister wants Sue Gray to basically go wherever the evidence takes her.”

The exact nature of the talks between Mr Johnson and Ms Gray remain unclear, however it is understood the pair met at least once while the report was being drafted.

The BBC reported that the discussions touched on whether photos would be revealed to the public, and that Ms Gray initiated the meeting “to clarify her intentions” for what would happen once the police investigation concluded.

But a spokesman for the Gray inquiry disputed this account of events.

They confirmed that a meeting took place, but said they would not characterise the talks in that way.

A No 10 source insisted the request for the meeting did not come from Mr Johnson.

“The PM did not request the meeting and hasn’t tried to influence the outcome in any way,” they said.

“It’s rightly for Sue to decide and it’s all done independently.”