BORIS Johnson will say sorry to the nation over Partygate in a grovelling No10 press conference this afternoon.
The PM has a punishing day of awkward questions over the Sue Gray report into Downing Street lockdown breaking – with an apology at PMQs expected, followed by a public address at a press conference later today.
His weekly audience with the Queen is also pencilled in for tonight as BoJo faces the music over dozens of rule-breaking breaking gatherings at the heart of government at the height of Covid.
Mr Johnson will also try to soothe baying Tory critics with a closed-door meeting of Conservative MPs later – in a packed day of Partygate pressure.
Cabinet enforcer Gray is due to hand her long delayed findings to No10 this morning, with insiders braced for fresh boozy pictures and grim details of rule-breaking.
Whitehall sources say some “relevant” photographs submitted to her inquiry – including those taken by No10’s ‘vanity snappers’ – will be published when the report finally surfaces today.
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Just two days ago, bombshell pics showing Boris raising a toast while surrounded by bottles of booze were leaked.
The photos show the PM lifting a glass while surrounded by staff at a leaving do for his comms chief Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
At the time meetings between people from separate households were prohibited – unless they were in an “exclusive support bubble”.
Cops did NOT fine Mr Johnson over the event and only stung him for a single birthday bash in the Cabinet Room.
This afternoon, the embattled leader is expected to grovel for forgiveness in the Commons as the full extent of Partygate is finally laid bare.
He will then seek to see off a leadership challenge with a private apology session to Tory MPs before seeing the Queen, possibly on Zoom.
Whitehall enforcer Ms Gray was last night preparing to deliver her “hefty” report after the Met finally finished their Partygate investigation last week, with more than 126 fines dished out to 83 people.
As it was being finalised, tensions between Ms Gray and No10 exploded into an open briefing war – including toxic claims the PM suggested the report never see the light of day after the cops concluded their own investigation.
The accusation in The Times surfaced after a number of hostile attacks online and in newspapers against Ms Gray and the political neutrality of her team and Labour links of her family.
Downing Street formally denied putting pressure on Gray to bin her report, saying: “The Prime Minister wants the report to be published.
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“He’s looking forward to the conclusion of the report and it being put in the public domain.”
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman added: “The PM did not ask for that report to be not proceeded with or to be dropped.”