Boris Johnson reportedly tried to convince Ms Gray her report was no longer necessary because of Scotland Yard’s investigation (Picture: ITV/Rex)
The prime minister allegedly told Sue Gray there was no need for her to publish her full report into Partygate.
It comes after Downing Street admitted it requested a meeting between the prime minister and Ms Gray earlier this month.
A source told the Times: ‘He asked her is there much point in doing it now that it’s all out there.
‘He was inferring that she didn’t need to publish the report.’
While another said: ‘They were exploring this idea of not having any report. It was being talked about [in Downing Street]. But politically they realised they couldn’t do it.’
Confusion over who called the meeting between the prime minister and Ms Gray has been rife with both sides initially giving conflicting briefings.
A government source has said the meeting was held to discuss ‘handling and choreography’ around the report.
Number 10 initially claimed the senior civil servant had initiated the meeting to discuss her report ahead of the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police’s Hillman investigation.
Fresh images of the prime minister at a Downing Street event emerged on Monday (Picture: ITV News)
A press officer was even removed from Ms Gray’s team amid the briefing war and conflicting statements.
Simon Clarke, the treasury minister repeated the claim Ms Gray had ‘instigated’ the meeting in interviews yesterday.
But within hours Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson contradicted him conceding that Downing Street had made the official request.
Asked whether officials told Ms Gray’s team that Mr Johnson would like to meet her, the spokesperson said: ‘No, this was not at the request of the prime minister.
‘It wasn’t framed in that way. It was suggested it may be helpful to have that meeting.
‘Obviously Sue Gray is independent, it is up to her whether she proceeds with any meeting with regards to her investigation.’
Ms Gray’s report is expected any day (Picture: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX)
The official spokesperson added that the meeting had been called in response to reports the Met’s Hillman investigation might be coming to a conclusion.
‘It was discussed that it might be useful to give an overview of what Sue Gray and her team were planning in regards to publication and timings – the publication following the conclusion of the report,’ they added.
‘I think those discussions had taken place at official level already.’
Police concluded their Partygate investigation on Thursday, handing out a total of 126 fines after looking into 10 gatherings.
Mr Johnson received a single fixed penalty notice for one event – despite there being evidence to he was present at other gatherings including one on November 13 2020.
Photos published yesterday show the prime minister raising a glass with at least six others in front of a table littered with open bottles of wine and liquor.
The images are said to have been taken at a leaving do for his former top spin doctor, Lee Cain on 13 November 2020.
Rules at the time only allowed two people from different households to mix indoors in non-work circumstances.
When details of the gathering surfaced in 2021 amid the first Partygate allegations Mr Johnson denied rules had been broken.
Mr Johnson has not been fined for his attendance at the November 13 event but at least one individual who attended a gathering on the date of Mr Cain’s leaving has been.
Scotland Yard has declined to explain why the prime minister has not been fined over the event.
Following the conclusion of the Met’s investigation Ms Gray’s report is expected to be published this week.
Downing Street has been contacted for comment.
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