Sue Gray has been appointed as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff. She is best known for overseeing the controversial inquiry into Downing Street parties during lockdown.
Gray’s appointment comes after the dismissal of Sam White, who served as Sir Keir’s chief of staff for a year but was unpopular with some of the shadow cabinet. It is unclear as to when Gray will assume her role as chief of staff with Sky News first breaking the story. A Labour source told Sky News:"[Sue Gray] knows how Number 10 works and she’s very popular with civil servants."
Sue Gray rose to nationwide notoriety in 2022 when she was tasked with writing a report on and investigating the breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules that took place at Downing Street during Boris Johnson’s premiership.
Her report stated the breaches were “failures of leadership” and led to a Metropolitan Police probe which saw Boris Johnson, and current PM Rishi Sunak, fined for attending a birthday party inside Number 10 in 2020.
The move will have to be cleared by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments watchdog which investigates roles taken by civil servants and ex-ministers. It’s been reported that the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could move to block the appointment, under Acoba rules.