Keir Starmer deflects questions about the investigation into the Labor appointment of Sue Gray | Pro IQRA News

Keir Starmer deflects questions about the investigation into the Labor appointment of Sue Gray

 | Pro IQRA News

Pro IQRA News Updates.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has refused to be distracted by questions about Sue Gray after speculation the party may have to wait a year for the former senior functionary to start as its chief of staff.

Mr Starmer said there was a “process in place” when asked about reports that could recommend that there be a 12-month gap between Gray’s resignation from the UK Cabinet Office and her start with the Labor Party.

He was also asked about suggestions that Ms Gray, who led a UK government inquiry into allegations of held parties being held in Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdown, could be found to have breached civil service law by switching them.

Asked about a Sunday newspaper report by broadcasters during the local election campaign’s visit to Blackpool, Mr Starmer said: “Sue Gray has a good reputation and there is clearly a process going on.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer dodged questions about Sue Gray during the local election campaign (Peter Byrne/PA)

However, he shifted the conversation to the cost of living crisis, which he said was the main topic on voters’ minds ahead of Thursday’s England council election.

The House of Commons order paper notes that a written statement will be issued on Tuesday offering “an update on the circumstances which led to the resignation of a senior civil servant”.

It followed a report in The Mail On Sunday newspaper that a Cabinet Office investigation into Ms Gray’s departure from her post as second permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office could find that the former pub owner’s conversations with workers had breached the Civil Service Act.

Separately, The Times reported that it had been told by British government sources that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case had been “instrumental” in recommending that Gray should be barred from holding the senior job post until March.

An anti-corruption commission, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOPA), is reviewing the terms of Ms. Gray’s departure and a new job offer.

It could make recommendations for when senior officials leave the government, including calling for a cooling-off period to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The Civil Service Code states that officials of Mrs. Gray’s seniority must wait at least three months before taking on an outside job, but Acuba can recommend that the wait is longer.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer announced in March that Sue Gray had accepted the role of chief of staff (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Acoba does not have the authority to prevent an appointment, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to make the final decision on the rules.

The Labor Party pledged to abide by any recommendation of Acuba in connection with the appointment of Mrs. Gray.

Leading party figures regularly searched to avoid the question of when she began talks with Mrs. Gray and Mr. Starmer about the possibility of her taking a high position in the office of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Starmer announced in March that Ms Gray had accepted the position of his chief of staff in a move said to focus on planning Labour’s transition to power if the party won the next general election.

The party is currently leading in the polls against Sunak’s Conservatives, with recent polls putting Mr Starmer’s outfits around 20 points ahead.

Gray’s decision to take over for Labor has angered Boris Johnson and his Conservative allies following an investigation into her party portal, where her leap was said to call into question the impartiality of the UK civil service.

Speaking as her exit from government was confirmed, former Bereth Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said it was “hard not to feel she’s been rewarded and offered a great job on effectively destroying the prime minister and causing a coup”.