I DON’T know about you, but I won’t believe we’re actually going to see the full Sue Gray report until it is published online and I’m reading it for myself.

When the Met Police concluded its investigation into partygate last week, we were told the road is now clear for Ms Gray to finally dust off the printer and release her long-awaited analysis of the culture of law-breaking and boozing across Whitehall during lockdown.

There has been much criticism of the Met for its frankly bizarre decision to only fine Boris Johnson for the cake incident: which even Sue Gray herself is said to have judged the least serious of lockdown-breaking events under investigation.

Boris Johnson and his army of expensive lawyers successfully argued that, while he attended multiple illegal events, he somehow did so legally. Junior staffers are said to be furious at receiving fines for events they attended under instruction from their bosses, events that the Prime Minister also attended, but escaped penalty for.

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It’s all a bit suspicious, isn’t it?

Allies of Boris Johnson were understandably delighted at his remarkable good fortune. It allows them to repeat the opportunistic line they tested throughout the scandal: that this is a row over a piece of birthday cake.

The public know that it’s not and the Covid bereaved aren’t going to allow their intelligence to be insulted by such a lame excuse, but, as we know, the fate of the Prime Minister depends solely on Conservative MPs.

And as a group, they have shown themselves every bit as spineless and sleekit as their boss.

If, as expected, we get first sight of Sue Gray’s report early this week, it is predicted to make grim reading for the Prime Minister as well as top civil servants. Reports over the weekend suggest that Ms Gray will publish some photographs of illegal parties, as well as WhatsApp messages and emails which show that officials knew what they were doing was in breach of the rules.

Will it make any difference though?

Top journalists and commentators have already decided that the Prime Minister is safe. That incestuous link between the media and politics mean that such proclamations often become a self-fulfilling prophesy. It is based on an analysis of the weakness of Conservative MPs and the shamelessness of the man in the top job.

It’s not an analysis without merit, but note how different the tone has been with regards to Keir Starmer and Beergate. Even before the Labour leader promised he would resign if he was issued with a fixed-penalty notice, political correspondents were insisting that if he were found guilty, he would have no option but to resign.

It’s a bit chicken and egg, isn’t it? What came first, the requirement to resign if you are a leader found guilty of breaking the law or the wall-to-wall coverage that tells the public a leader is definitely safe or definitely doomed?

Boris Johnson is treated as exceptional by our media class and, as an experienced politician, he uses that to his advantage. It’s no surprise that under his leadership, standards of decency and accountability have fallen so dramatically.

Last week we found out a titbit that, depressingly, came as little surprise. Boris Johnson held a secret meeting with Sue Gray some weeks ago. That revelation has since been the subject of a furious briefing war between No 10 and sources close to Sue Gray. Her camp rejected claims that she initiated the meeting, insisting that it was held at Downing Street’s request.

The problem is, I’m not sure that makes it any better. At every stage of this scandal it seems Boris Johnson has been treated differently and in more favourable terms than anybody else under investigation.

Sources seem to be in agreement that the pair met to discuss the progress of the Met Police inquiry and they insist that no mention was made of Sue Gray’s report.

But if that is the case, why did they need to meet in person? And, if Johnson did call the meeting, why was the subject of an investigation allowed to summon the top official in charge of that investigation to discuss a separate police inquiry?

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It’s very murky indeed.

We will have to wait and see whether the report is published this week and we can only hope that it isn’t subject to more political shenanigans and delays. Tory MPs insist that once the report is released, the Prime Minister will make a statement to the House of Commons and partygate will officially be over and done with.

When they do, the public will remember what that same group of MPs were saying just a few short months ago. They will remember the promises to remove the Prime Minister once all the facts are known. They will remember how they defended their inaction by saying it’s only fair to wait for Sue Gray.

Unless that promised action finally materialises the public will remember all those broken promises come the next general election.