The 59-page report covers 16 gatherings held between May 15, 2020 and April 16, 2021 at the prime ministers Downing Street office, his official residence upstairs or the nearby cabinet office. Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen, the report concluded.
Gray wrote: The senior leadership at the center, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture, She added that some of the more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders.
The published report included nine photos of Johnson, including some that show him raising a glass next to a table with snacks and open wine bottles.
In a statement to Parliament shortly after the release, Johnson said he was humbled and has learned a lesson. He said he took full responsibility for everything that took place, but it was time to move on and focus on the priorities of the British people. He added that he was appalled by some of the reports details.
The report said that after one party, cleaners had to scrub red wine stains from a wall. At another, the governments former ethics chief brought a karaoke machine.
In a WhatsApp exchange, a top civil servant wrote that we seem to have got away with a drinks party on May 20, 2020.
The highly anticipated report British journalists were calling Wednesday Sue Gray Day followed a separate police investigation into a dozen of the gatherings. The determined that 83 people violated the lockdown rules, including the prime minister, his wife, Carrie, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Johnson is the first British prime minister to be found to have broken the law while in office. Even still, some critics suggested the police let him off too lightly.
The Gray inquiry will probably fuel again speculation about Johnsons future, if only to raise questions about whether his Conservative Party feels the need for a change. His fate rests with Conservative lawmakers, who can trigger a leadership contest by sending 54 no-confidence letters.
The scandal has dented support for the Conservatives, who suffered losses in local elections this month.
The fresh revelations from Grays account may further stoke public resentment, as Britain now faces a sobering cost-of-living crisis, with fuel and food prices sharply rising.
Opposition leader Keir Starmer said the report was a testament to the hubris and the arrogance of a government that believed it was one rule for them and another rule for everyone else. He again drew a contrast between himself and Johnson by reiterating his pledge to step down if police find hes broken lockdown rules in a separate scandal dubbed beergate.
Johnson said Wednesday that his attendance at some staff farewell parties was brief, and that he was surprised and disappointed to learn that drinking continued into the night. At gathering on the eve Prince Philips funeral, some partied until after 4 a.m. and staffers broke a toy swing that belonged to Johnsons toddler son, the report noted.
The prime minister made it clear yet again that he has no intention of resigning. His allies have defended his resolve, citing among the reasons Russias war in Ukraine, where the U.K. has played an outsize role in military support.
But polls show that the majority of Brits think he should step down, and his popularity rating has tumbled since the lockdown breaches were revealed.
When you look at his approval ratings now, they are not the kind of approval ratings that a prime minister normally comes back from, said Chris Curtis, head of political polling at Opinium Research.
He said the Conservative Party had lost its reputation for economic competence, with fuel and food prices surging. Inflation is now at 9 percent, a 40-year high.
But the biggest thing that has ruined Boris Johnsons reputation is undoubtedly Partygate, Curtis said. He said that if there were an election now, polls suggest that Johnson and the Conservative Party would be out of government.
The fact that the opposition Labour Party can see a route to power is a remarkable change of events from the 2019 election, when Johnson helped Conservatives win an 80-seat majority.
But Conservative lawmakers are not maneuvering in any great numbers to oust Johnson. Analysts say this is in part because theres no obvious successor.
Johnson has also shown he can ride out controversies that would topple most politicians.