DOWNING Street denies that Boris Johnson pressurised Sue Gray to drop her reportedly damning report on partygate.

The Times reported that the Prime Minister asked the senior civil servant whether there was any point in publishing the report now the facts were “all out there” at a meeting earlier this month.

It followed the publication of photographs which show the Tory leader raising a glass while surrounded by colleagues and wine bottles in Downing Street.

The toast was for departing communications chief Lee Cain at a bash on November 13, 2020. The leaving do took place just days after the UK Government ordered England’s second national lockdown.

Responding to the Times report, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This was a legitimate meeting about the process rather than the contents of the report.

“The Prime Minister did not ask her to drop the report or not proceed with the report.

“The Prime Minister commissioned the report, initially by the Cabinet Secretary, and wants it to be published.”

The spokesman said that he understood that the report would be published “in the coming days”.

Following a Metropolitan Police investigation, Johnson only received a single fine for breaching lockdown rules with his 56th birthday gathering.

The National: A group of police officers walk through Downing Street, in Westminster, London, during a protest outside the gates. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 13, 2022. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been fined as part of a

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Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said the forces decision not to fine Johnson over the leaving party is “incomprehensible”.

The ex-Conservative MP told BBC News: “I certainly think the police decision is incomprehensible. If, as suggested, they fined other participants attending this party then I just can’t see how the Prime Minister wasn’t fined as well.

“I would have to ask the police for their reasoning on this, I do find it extraordinary.”

Veteran Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, following comments on Times Radio on Monday in which he said Prime Minister Boris Johnson “misled us from the despatch box”, tweeted: “I believe that the PM has misled the HoC’s from the despatch box. That is a resignation issue.

“I have made my own position clear. It is now a matter for my Conservative parliamentary colleagues to decide whether or not to instigate a vote of no confidence.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “angry” to see the photographs but suggested the Prime Minister may not have been fined over the event because he left the leaving do “pretty quick”.

The Tory minister pointed to Johnson’s red ministerial box being present in the images as he claimed to Sky News the Prime Minister was “clearly not” partying.

“It looks to me like he goes down on his way out of the office and thanks the staff and raises a glass, and doesn’t in his mind recognise it as a party,” Shapps said.