The admission came after initial denials about the meeting ahead of the publication of the partygate inquiry.
23 May 2022
Downing Street has admitted it did request a controversial meeting between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray ahead of the publication of her partygate inquiry despite initial denials.
Treasury minister Simon Clarke had insisted on Monday that it was the senior civil servant who “instigated” the meeting in the weeks leading up to her widely anticipated report into lockdown breaches in Downing Street.
But hours later Downing Street admitted it was “No 10 officials” who had requested the meeting earlier this month so that the Prime Minister could discuss the “timings and publication process”.
No 10 also insisted Mr Johnson did not support allegations attributed to his allies that Ms Gray had been “playing politics” ahead of the publication of her report, which is expected this week.
Mr Johnson refused to comment on the details of the meeting during a visit to a school in south-east London, but said “of course” Ms Gray remained independent.