A SCOTTISH MP has called for an explanation into how the apparent findings of the inquiry into Downing Street parties found their way into a newspaper.

Wendy Chamberlain raised concerns in the Commons today about a report in The Times that Ms Gray's investigation would not conclude Boris Johnson had breached the ministerial code, nor would it find sufficient evidence of criminality to refer the issue to the police. 

The newspaper also reported that Ms Gray was considering censuring Mr Johnson for a lack of judgement, as well as being critical of the culture at Downing Street, but the decision on whether the Prime Minister broke the ministerial code would not be within her remit. 

The revelations have prompted deep concern among MPs, who have questioned how the contents of the report have been leaked prior to it being published.

One Conservative MP told The Herald the leak was a "clear effort by No.10 to pre-empt the investigation, and spin it in a way that makes Boris look positive." 

Downing Street, and the Prime Minister, have repeatedly said the full report will be made available as soon as possible, with speculation that it could come as early as the end of next week.

Ms Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, raised a point of order with the Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle this morning about the leak.

She said: "The story in one newspaper this morning appears to be a leak of the outcomes of Sue Gray's inquiry into those parties.

"On Wednesday, the Prime Minister promised on the publication of this report into the Downing Street parties he would make a statement to this House.

"On important policy announcements, you have previously made clear that the government should announce them to this House first, so that we can fulfill our job representing our constituents, who will of course want to question the Prime Minister over these findings.

"So for an issue of this importance, Mr. Speaker, I wonder what guidance you would have to ensure that government ministers and officials do not leak the outcomes of this report in advance, especially as these attempts to do so look like they're exonerating the Prime Minister before we have contemplated that report." 

Common speaker Sir Lindsay said that the failure to properly publish the report in the Commons, and make it available to MPs before it is released in the media, would be a "great discourtesy" to parliament. 

He said: "It will be entirely inappropriate and discourteous to this House for any findings of the inquiry to be released to the media before being announced to this House.

"I cannot be clearer on this matter.

"I expect the government to announce the findings of the inquiry to this House first, and I will treat any failure to do so as a great discourtesy to this house." 

The government has previously been chastised for releasing information via the media before allowing it to be scrutinised by MPs, including huge sections of the Budget in October and coronavirus policy. 

According to The Times report, Ms Gray is considering censuring Mr Johnson for his lack of judgment in attending the garden party on May 20, 2020, despite his claims that he believed it to be a work event.

She will also criticise blurred lines at No 10 between working and socialising.

It is reported that the senior civil servant has consulted an external QC to establish whether lockdown rules were breached and has also taken advice from government lawyers on employment law. She is likely to recommend action against officials and special advisers.