Council / Spaceport and council on agenda for ‘Partygate’ civil servant during trip north

Lerwick Town Hall.

THE SENIOR civil servant who carried out the ‘Partygate’ investigation into the UK Government has been in Shetland on a visit.

Sue Gray visited the SaxaVord Spaceport site in Unst before meeting council leaders.

In 2021 Gray was made second permanent secretary in the UK Government’s Cabinet Office with responsibility for the union and constitution directorate.

Shetland Islands Council leadership met with Gray on Friday having previously rubbed shoulders at the inaugural meeting of the UK Government’s islands forum in Orkney in September.

Council leader Emma Macdonald said: “We obviously discussed our Levelling Up bid for the Fair Isle ferry and explained how important that route is.

“We spoke about the many opportunities that Shetland has and we have extended further invitations to engage further on matters such as connectivity.”

She said feedback from Gray around the proposed spaceport was positive – “not only the project itself but also the wider Shetland businesses that are available to support this industry”.


“All in all it was a good discussion and one that left us with some further actions to follow up on,” Macdonald said.

Gray was given the high profile task of investigating allegations of gatherings and parties in the government during Covid restrictions.

She ruled in a report earlier this year that there had been “failures of leadership and judgment in No 10 and the Cabinet Office”, putting pressure on then prime minister Boris Johnson.

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