Sue Gray’s report into the alleged parties that took place at Downing Street against Covid restrictions has finally been published.
The report states that the alleged gatherings demonstrate ‘failures of leadership and judgment’.
It also states that the ‘behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify’.
Senior civil servant Ms Gray’s report has been published ahead of a statement from Boris Johnson in the House of Commons.
In it, she wrote that she was ‘extremely limited’ in what she could say about the events due to the Met Police investigation.
Ms Gray stated: “I am extremely limited in what I can say about those events and it is not possible at present to provide a meaningful report setting out and analysing the extensive factual information I have been able to gather.”
The report accepted that it was necessary for Downing Street staff to be on the premises, working ‘long hours under difficult conditions’.
But, she added: “Those challenges also applied to key and frontline workers across the country who were working under equally, if not more, demanding conditions, often at risk to their own health.
“It is important to remember the stringency of the public health regulations in force in England over the relevant periods and that criminal sanctions were applied to many found to be in breach of them.
“The hardship under which citizens across the country worked, lived and sadly even died while observing the Government’s regulations and guidance rigorously are known only too well.”
She wrote that Covid-19 has had a ‘seismic impact’ on everyone in the country and stressed the ‘profound personal sacrifices’ that so many citizens have made during the pandemic.
The report says: “At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.
“At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.
“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times.
“Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did.”
It then added: “The excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time.
“Steps must be taken to ensure that every Government Department has a clear and robust policy in place covering the consumption of alcohol in the workplace.”
Ms Gray also stated: “It is not for me to make a judgment on whether the criminal law has been broken.”
The 2020 events listed in the report took place on 15 May, 20 May, 18 June, 19 June, 13 November, 27 November, 10 December, 15 December, 17 December and 18 December, as well as events on 14 January 2021 and 16 April 2021.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.