Sue Gray in ‘back to work’ snap as Partygate investigator lands top Labour job

Sue Gray was all smiles as she started her first day in a major new role at the Labour party today.

The partygate investigator will be taking up the reins as the new chief of staff for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour party.

Her appointment to the position was met with controversy from the Tory side of the Commons, with many claiming that joining the Labour party meant she had not been impartial during her investigation of Downing Street parties under Boris Johnson’s leadership.

The main finding of the inquiry was that Mr Johnson deliberately misled the House of Commons by repeatedly telling it, after the Partygate scandal emerged, that Covid rules had been followed at all times in Downing Street.

The Cabinet Office pushed for Ms Gray to be barred from taking up the position for at least 18 months, pointing to the access she had to sensitive government secrets.

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The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) recommended a six month-period – making her clear to start work today.

She is expected to draw up plans to reform the civil service, should Labour succeed in next year’s election.

Former Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg previously said her report, published in full last May, now looked like “a left-wing stitch-up”.

The report, alongside other scandals, contributed to Boris Johnson’s eventual resignation.

Insiders suggest she may have also played a role in helping Keir Starmer organise his shadow cabinet reshuffle.

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While her appointment was revealed in March, Sir Keir originally approached Ms Gray with the role in October last year, it has since emerged.

According to an investigation by the Cabinet Office, she broke civil service rules during her secret talks with Labour.

The inquiry found that she should have declared her dealings with Sir Keir when he first contacted her about becoming his chief of staff.

Labour dismissed the inquiry as “Mickey Mouse nonsense”, and said “all rules were complied with.”

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A spokesperson said: “We’re looking forward to Sue Gray joining us this September as we continue to show the country that only Labour can build a better Britain.”

The reshuffle has seen Sir Keir move several top players around and promoted some less well-known MPs.

Most notable was the appointment of Angela Rayner to the position of Deputy Leader, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Analysts argue he has overall moved the party further to the right with the switch-up.

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