UK's Johnson, and his foes, await key 'partygate' report

This undated photo issued on Jan. 13, 2022 by GOV.UK shows Sue Gray, second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Gray is a senior but previously obscure civil servant who may hold Johnson's political future in her hands. She has the job of investigating allegations that the prime minister and his staff attended lockdown-flouting parties on government property. (GOV.UK via AP)

LONDON (AP) - As he fights for his career, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has one constant refrain: Wait for Sue Gray.

Gray is a senior but previously obscure civil servant who may hold Johnson's political future in her hands. She has the job of investigating allegations that the prime minister and his staff attended lockdown-flouting parties on government property.

Gray is due to report by the end of the month on claims government staff held late-night soirees, "bring your own booze" parties and "wine time Fridays" while Britain was under coronavirus restrictions in 2020 and 2021. The allegations have spawned public anger, incredulity and mockery, and prompted some in the governing Conservative Party to call for Johnson's resignation.

The prime minister last week made a contrite, carefully worded apology in Parliament, but stopped short of admitting rule-breaking and urged everyone to wait for Gray's verdict.

Alex