Senior civil servant Sue Gray has quit the Cabinet Office and is reportedly set to take up a role as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff.
Gray, who conducted the inquiry into the partygate scandal which contributed to Boris Johnson’s downfall, had been second permanent secretary to Cabinet Office.
The PA news agency understands she has resigned from her civil service job.
Labour has not commented on whether Gray has been appointed, but a spokesman said earlier on Thursday “the process is ongoing, nobody has been offered the job”.
Gray took on the civil service investigation into allegations of coronavirus rule-breaking at No 10 in December 2021, going from an influential but little-known arbiter of conduct in Government to a household name seen as holding Mr Johnson’s fate in her hands.
The move will be scrutinised by Parliament’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), before formal confirmation.
It is understood that Rishi Sunak could in theory block the appointment.
Amid speculation about the move, the Prime Minister’s spokesman outlined the Acoba process to reporters.
“Acoba will consider the information provided. They’ll make necessary requests for information, they’ll consider it, they’ll come to review that should be applied to the appointment under the government’s business appointment rules, and they will provide a provisional recommendation and then the applicant is asked to confirm if they’re content to abide by the provisional advice.
“And then obviously the recommendations are then made to the relevant department or minister depending on who they are.”
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