London Police Accused of Trying to Help Boris Johnson Keep Job After Lockdown Parties

London's Metropolitan Police is facing criticism after it asked for a British civil servant's report on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's alleged COVID-19 lockdown parties to exclude certain information until its investigation is concluded.

Police asked Sue Gray for "minimal reference to be made" to the events being investigating in her report, The Independent reported. An additional source told the U.K. newspaper that police are concerned about suspects knowing the evidence against them before they are questioned.

The request came after opposing party members expressed concern over the Metropolitan Police's request. According to the Associated Press, Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, Johnson's Conservative Party's main opposition, said the report needed to be released with "no redactions, no edits, no bits left out."

"[Johnson] has paralyzed the government so the sooner we get both the full report and the investigation completed, the better," Starmer said in The Independent report.

Ian Blackford, a lawmaker with the Scottish National Party, said in the AP report that "this increasingly looks like a cover-up," adding that Johnson cannot be allowed to "wriggle off the hook by using the Metropolitan Police investigation as an excuse to further delay or doctor the report."

Johnson is accused of throwing "bring your own booze" office parties and "wine time Fridays" in 2020 and 2021 while his administration made the rest of the country lock down and follow COVID-19 restrictions, according to AP.

Depending on the results of Gray's report, the Conservative Party could decide to trigger a no-confidence vote that could oust Johnson from office. To get the required 15 percent of Conservative members of parliament to begin the vote, 54 must send a letter requesting it. So far, 20 have said they intend to do so.

In addition to members of parliament, people deeply affected by the pandemic have also expressed their distaste for the police's request.

Fran Hall, a spokesperson for the "Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice" group who lost her husband to the virus in October of 2020, told the Daily Record that she just wants to know the truth behind the allegations "so that lessons can be learnt and we can move forward with our lives."

"Tragically, it seems here that the Metropolitan Police have broken the trust of the public by first refusing to investigate flagrant law breaking, and now demanding any other investigations hide the most serious illegalities happening at Downing Street," she said.

Metropolitan Police, London, protest
London's Metropolitan Police faced backlash after it asked for the report on Boris Johnson's alleged lockdown parties to only include "minimal reference" to events it is investigating. Above, Metropolitan Police officers stand in sight of the Elizabeth Tower, commonly known by the name of the bell, Big Ben, as they monitor a march to protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in London on January 15, 2022. Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images