Sue Gray’s Move to Labour Raises Questions for Sir Keir Starmer

Government report examines potential conflict of interest as former civil servant joins opposition party


The government is expected to publish a report today on Sue Gray’s departure from the Civil Service and her subsequent appointment as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff. The report will examine the timeline of Gray’s move, as allegations surface that she held talks with Labour while still working for the propriety and ethics team, which advised the committee of MPs investigating partygate.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has stated that Sir Keir Starmer may have “serious questions to answer” if he was in communication with Sue Gray during her time advising MPs on partygate. However, Labour has disputed these claims, with a source stating that Gray was not part of the team handling requests from the privileges committee.


Sir Keir Starmer has also denied any wrongdoing, telling the BBC that he “had no discussions with her while she was investigating Boris Johnson whatsoever.” He added that he is confident Gray has not broken any rules.

Sue Gray gained prominence for leading the Cabinet Office inquiry into events at Downing Street during the pandemic, known as the “Sue Gray report.” The report found “failures of leadership and judgment” across Number 10 and the cabinet office, resulting in fines for Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.

The government report is set to inform a decision made by the appointments watchdog ACOBA (advisory committee on business appointments) regarding the appropriate amount of gardening leave Gray should take before joining Sir Keir Starmer’s team.

The upcoming government report on Sue Gray’s departure from the Civil Service and move to Labour raises questions for Sir Keir Starmer about potential conflicts of interest. As the report’s findings emerge, it remains to be seen what implications there may be for both Gray and the Labour Party.

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