OPINION - Metropolitan Police to Sue Gray: You have the right to remain silent

·2-min read
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

Can you prejudice a criminal investigation that will never face a jury and whose maximum sentence confers a fixed penalty notice? Our Court Correspondent, Tristan Kirk, is sceptical.

But it appears to be the view of the Metropolitan Police, which today released a statement asking that, for the events it is investigating, “minimal reference” be made in Sue Gray’s report.

In other words, the Gray report – a fact-finding look into allegations of lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street – should not contain the most egregious cases of lockdown-busting parties. You can see the problem this creates.

The closest we may get for a while is comedian Joe Lycett’s spoof Gray report, which apparently sparked panic in government after being mistaken for the real thing. Despite ending with: “Please forward any queries to my email ItsAllSueGravyBaby@aol.com.”

We raise a question in today’s leader column that I’ll repeat here, both because it’s pertinent and it contains a Taylor Swift song title. Does this delay represent a stay of execution for the Prime Minister or is it more death by a thousand cuts?

Sure, it may prevent a number of Tory MPs from affixing a stamp to their letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee, but only at the cost of dragging out the pain, potentially for many months.

A cursory glance at the polling suggests that, while the febrile atmosphere in Westminster may have subsided since Boris Johnson’s disastrous interview with Sky’s Beth Rigby last week, the scars of the last few months could already have ossified.

Elsewhere in the paper, London’s world-famous Pride parade is returning this summer on 2 July after a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the comment pages, City Hall Editor and cyclist Ross Lydall’s take on the upcoming changes to the Highway Code is well worth your time. Without more safe routes and enforcing the law against dangerous driving, he says, “all else is code for simply not doing enough.”

Meanwhile, Londoner’s Diary Editor (so you’ll want to be nice to him) Robbie Smith has a problem: he can’t give up on a book, even a bad one. “It is my time I’m wasting. And I’ll waste it how I want.”

And finally, analysis of the 2021 mayoral election campaign found that Count Binface ran the most cost-effective mayoral election campaign, at an average of 40p per vote. You’ll never guess who clocked in at £8.02 a pop.

Have a lovely weekend.

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