Boris Johnson is expected to acknowledge “serious mistakes” in the ‘partygate’ scandal and has told allies he regrets lax enforcement of lockdown rules at Downing Street, according to reports.
The Prime Minister’s leadership is hanging in the balance – with No 10 anxiously awaiting the final draft of top civil servant Sue Gray’s report.
Mr Johnson has pledged to come to the Commons to make a statement on the Gray report, which is said to have been held up by legal checks after the Metropolitan Police announced a separate inquiry.
The PM is expected to offer an apology and acknowledgement that they should never have taken place.
An ally told the Daily Mail: “He knows he has made serious mistakes, but he believes he is still the right man to lead this country.”
Mr Johnson has been frantically trying to woo Tories, holding one-to-one meetings yesterday with 15 MPs to listen to their concerns as he battles the threat of a leadership contest.
Ms Gray is expected to send her report into allegations of lockdown-breaching gatherings to No 10 imminently .
Downing Street is expected to publish that report within hours of receiving it and the PM will go to Parliament to make a statement.
It follows days of chaotic briefing and counter-briefing over the report after Ms Gray concluded her work into the partygate saga, which was first exposed by the Mirror.
It was thought the report would have to be delayed or split in two after Scotland Yard announced it would investigate “a number of” gatherings inside Downing Street and Whitehall.
But it then emerged Ms Gray would send her full findings to No10 after all.
Downing Street insisted its “intention” was to publish the Gray report in the same format Boris Johnson receives it.
The Mirror understands Sue Gray expects her full report to be published – but it will not contain all the evidence she received and may not contain elements like text exchanges or photos of Boris Johnson with wine bottles.
Instead, it is likely to be a detailed summary and could recommend disciplinary action against individual staff but this would be kept secret.
A No 10 spokeswoman refused to comment while the investigation is ongoing but highlighted the PM had previously apologised in the House of Commons.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said she did not know why the report was taking so long to produce.
“I know the Government has committed to publishing the full findings of the report but the timing I have absolutely know idea about,” she told Sky News.
Ms Coffey added: “Have I ever been to any parties in Downing Street?
“The last party I recall going to at Downing Street was the celebration of when the UK left the European Union following the referendum.”