Starmer accuses government of resurrecting ‘a story about Sue Gray’
The Cabinet Office will review the circumstances around former senior civil servant Sue Gray’s resignation, as the civil service code states that officials of Ms Gray’s seniority must wait a minimum of three months before taking up outside employment, which could lead to her being banned from working with the Labour Party until next year.
They must also check with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) about any employment they wish to take within two years of leaving the Government.
Ms Gray was reportedly in talks with Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer as far back as last November, when she was said to still be advising the Privileges Committee investigation about the Partygate Inquiry into former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. She resigned in March when the discussions became public.
Parliament’s ethics watchdog Acoba is also expected to advise Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on whether the move is “unsuitable” and how much gardening leave Ms Gray should take.
Former commissioner for Public Appointments, Peter Riddell, has said it would be “reasonable” for Ms Gray to be forced to wait before becoming Labour’s chief of staff.
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He said: “I think a substantial period is reasonable, mainly as an act of reassurance. I think to reassure current ministers that their senior civil servants aren’t going to just be here today, gone tomorrow.”
He continued: “I think a period possibly lasting to the end of the year would be reasonable in that stage.
“It may well be longer than that, because there is a lot of strong feeling, not least among civil servants and ministers.”
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When asked about the appointment of Ms Gray, Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast: “Firstly I had no discussions with her while she was investigating Boris Johnson, whatsoever.
“I don’t think anybody is suggesting that is the case. I’m confident that she hasn’t broken any of the rules.
So what do YOU think? Should Ms Gray be blocked from working for Labour? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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