THE flip-flopping and desperate spin ahead of Sue Gray’s report being published in full shows Downing Street is panicking.

It’s no coincidence that as the damning photographs included in Gray’s report begin to emerge that will show the truth of Johnson’s involvement in Number 10 rule-breaking, Downing Street went on the offensive.

We had already seen the beginning of this at the weekend, as some Tories began briefing against the civil servant.

READ MORE: Sue Gray report 'to unveil photos proving Boris Johnson lied to MPs and police'

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi was probed over the issue in a car-crash interview on Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday, where he proclaimed that the PM “did not and would never intervene in this report”.

Zahawi also said he “didn’t know” who called the secretive meeting between Johnson and Gray ahead of the report's release.

Cut to Monday where the Daily Mail’s front page proclaimed that the PM’s allies had accused Gray of “playing politics” in a bid to get in front of the story that will dominate headlines for the rest of the week.

By Monday afternoon, Number 10 eventually relented and admitted that Downing Street staff had arranged the meeting with Gray, after allies in the civil servants camp refused to let her take the fall.

It’s a standard tactic for this Tory government - obfuscate, blame someone else, and then U-turn at the last minute.

It speaks to the chaos in Downing Street that Johnson has presided over, that he has been consistently looking for a fall guy from the moment the story broke. It’s no coincidence that junior members of government staff, mostly female, bore the brunt of Fixed Penalty Notices while Johnson slithered away with one.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson admits secret Sue Gray meeting was suggested by Downing Street

And it looks like Simon Case, the PM’s Cabinet Secretary, is being set up to take the fall for the Prime Minister, according to the Metro.

Case, the head of the civil service, hasn’t actually been handed a fine himself, but what does that matter in Westminster, where the normal rules don’t apply?

Johnson will do anything to keep himself in post as PM. He’s clung on through the initial report, the Met police investigation, the fine and the disastrous local election losses suffered by his party.

We are stuck in a cycle of dodgy Tory behaviour, calls for resignation, and nothing happening. For Johnson to go, there will need to be more than simply photographs of him in a party hat or a bottle of beer in his hand that Tory spin doctors can try to wave away for any real damage to be done or for a resignation to come.

They have already started to emerge, one showing Johnson raising a glass in a group of people at a leaving party on November 13, 2020 released by ITV. Is it enough for someone to finally take accountability?

The reaction of Downing Street, attacking Gray and coming out on a war footing, however ill-advised that may be, shows that they are on tenterhooks right now, whether they admit it or not.

They know that the public is furious and that this might be their last chance saloon, but they will fight it every step of the way.

Bring on the 300 photographs - all of them.