26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: Green light for Gray to work for Labour

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Former senior United Kingdom Public Servant, Sue Gray has been cleared to work for the Opposition Labour Party, despite Government claims she may have broken Public Service rules.

Parliament’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) said Ms Gray (pictured) could start in September, six months after quitting the Public Service in March.

However, recommendations from the Acoba are not binding, and while both Labour and Ms Gray said they would abide by them, it is still possible that Government Ministers could intervene.

Ministers said she had broken the rules by failing to declare her contact with the party over a potential job. — Labour insists no rules were broken.

Ms Gray, who led an inquiry into COVID-19 lockdown gatherings at the residence of then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is set to become Chief of Staff to Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

Labour said Ms Gray had only one phone call with Sir Keir before she resigned, and the conversation did not relate to any Government business.

The Government is expected to declare her contact with the Labour leader while she was still an official a breach of the rules for Public Servants. Labour claims any Government’s intervention would be politically motivated.

Some Conservatives have expressed anger that she was offered a job as the Labour Leader’s Chief of Staff, arguing it undermined the impartiality of her inquiry into lockdown-breaking parties.

Her report prompted numerous MPs to call for Mr Johnson’s resignation and contributed to his downfall.

Other responsibilities Ms Gray had as a Public Servant included a program to improve relations between the nations that make up the UK.

She was also in charge of introducing the controversial voter ID scheme, which Labour has spoken out against.

London, 3 July 2023

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