Three members of Boris Johnson’s cabinet pressed senior official Sue Gray to “water down” the findings and mitigate the impact of the Partygate report, according to The Sunday Times.

The secretary for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, had to face the accusations and defend on the Sky News network the “independence” of the report that accused the “premier” of “lack of leadership” in the face of excesses and violations of Covid rules in Downing Street during lockdowns.

According to The Sunday Times, Chief of Staff Stephen Barclay, Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and his right-hand man Alex Chisholm pressured Sue Gray to alter “key passages” in the report on the eve of its publication on Wednesday. past.

Despite the report’s devastating conclusions, several names were omitted and some of the 15 events investigated (such as Abba’s party at Boris and Carrie Johnson’s apartment at 11 Downing Street) barely merited a mention. Former Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings, who accused the “premier” of ignoring advice against celebrating the holidays, has acknowledged that he did not give a statement either.

Boris Johnson will possibly be forced to respond this week about the alleged pressures that could have compromised the integrity of the report. The “premier”, who still has to face a parliamentary investigation, has also been accused by the opposition of “trying to save his skin” with the changes introduced on Friday to the “ministerial code” to avoid his resignation.

Meanwhile, there are now 24 Conservative deputies who have publicly called for his resignation, after the incorporation of Anne Marie Morris and former Health Undersecretary Steve Brine into the ranks of the rebel “Tories”, who however need to reach 54 to launch a motion of censure against their own leader.

Johnson, who was fined 118 euros for the police investigation, continues to fail in the polls. A YouGov poll published this week even predicts that the Conservative leader could lose his seat in Uxbridge, west London, if elections were held this week.

Tory heavyweights have meanwhile accused Johnson of leading the Conservative Party into “a huge identity crisis” following the announcement of the new windfall tax on oil and energy companies. “The lack of confidence and clarity have created a toxic mix among voters,” warned veteran Sir Bob Neill, who has added his voice to that of the rebel MPs.

The number two of the Secretary of the Treasury, John Glen, has meanwhile recognized the BBC that the Government has entered “yellow card territory”. Glen stated however that he has decided to continue in his position after “a frank and honest conversation” with Boris Johnson.

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