Who is Sue Gray, the woman leading the No 10 parties inquiry?

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An inquiry is currently taking place into the alleged No 10 parties that have stirred a storm in the UK, the BBC reports, but who is Sue Gray, who will lead the investigation?

The allegations state parties took place at Downing Street in May and December 2020, which breached the government’s own covid-19 restrictions at the time.

Sue Gray is heading the investigation, but who is she? Let’s get to know the civil servant.

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Who is Sue Gray?

Sue Gray is a senior civil servant who works for the UK government. The 64-year-old is Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office.

She has worked in the Civil Service since the 1970s and joined the Cabinet Office in the late 1990s.

Gray has had many roles in the Cabinet Office including director-general of the Propriety and Ethics Team and head of the Private Offices Group under the Cabinet Secretary.

Her husband is Bill Conlon, a country singer from County Down, Northern Ireland.

She is leading the No 10 parties inquiry

In December 2021, it was announced she would take over the No 10 parties inquiry from Simon Case.

Case stepped down from the position after it was alleged one of the gatherings took place in his own office.

A spokesperson for No 10 told the BBC: “To ensure the ongoing investigation retains public confidence, the cabinet secretary [Simon Case] has recused himself for the remainder of the process.”

It was revealed Gray would take over the inquiry and would “ascertain the facts and present her findings to the prime minister”.

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Gray’s other inquiries

This isn’t the first inquiry Gray has led. In 2012, she oversaw the “plebgate” inquiry, which investigated allegations the Conservative chief whip at the time, Andrew Mitchell, called some police officers “plebs”.

The inquiry led to Mitchell resigning, although he has always denied using that language.

In 2017, Gray also led an investigation into Damian Green, who was First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office during Theresa May’s second government.

The inquiry advised him to step down after it ruled he made “inaccurate and misleading” statements after pornography was found on an office computer in 2008, as reported by the Guardian.

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