SIR Keir Starmer has been accused of double standards for continuing to welcome disgraced Sue Gray into a prominent role within the Labour Party, despite an inquiry today finding her guilty of breaking the civil service code.
On Friday it was revealed that Ms. Gray, who helped lead a witch hunt against Boris Johnson into alleged lockdown violations in Downing Street, had secret talks to join Labour in October of last year, five months before she left her position. The revelation means she was involved with the Labour Party while still having access to sensitive government data, and is likely to have acted with heavy bias, rather than the necessary impartiality, when probing allegations against the former Prime Minister.
It is unknown how frequently Ms. Gray spoke with Labour or what exactly was said because – unlike Boris Johnson – she refused to help with the investigation being carried out by the Cabinet Office.
Last night a Labour spokesman dismissed the investigation: ‘Tomorrow’s statement is just a political stunt by Tory ministers who’ve run out of ideas. It’s pathetic. We’re looking forward to Sue starting in September.’
But Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘It makes Sir Keir a hypocrite.
‘They’re clearly employing, as the person who will be joined at the hip with Keir, someone who’s broken the rules, according to the Government report.’
He said: ‘Talk about double standards.’
Mr Bone added: ‘Labour has always jumped up and down in Parliament pointing fingers at Conservative ministers who haven’t actually broken any rules, and yet they’re doing this.’ Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘I think it’s perfectly clear she’s behaved improperly.’
Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin said the Whitehall inquiry found the code “was prima facie broken as a result of the undeclared contact between Ms Gray and the Leader of the Opposition.”
He said Ms Gray was given the opportunity to make representations but chose not to do so.
The inquiry into her actions has now concluded that she broke the civil service code. Yet, despite this, it appears that Gray will go unpunished, being cleared to work for Labour by Parliament’s advisory appointments body last week.
It said she could start as Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff in September.