Downing Street will not seek to block the publication of the report into gatherings and parties across Whitehall despite a police investigation.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that discussions were taking place between the Met Police and the Cabinet Office to determine what can be published from Sue Gray’s report, given there is now an official police probe into the issue.

It had been claimed earlier in the day that the Metropolitan Police had suggested they had no objection to the document being published, with the spokesman saying: “The advice that I have had is that there are still ongoing discussions, there are still details that need to be worked through between both the police and the investigations team.”

The spokesman said decisions on publication were a matter for the Cabinet Office and police and “we are not, as in No 10, seeking to block that in any way”.

He added it “certainly remains the case that we would want it to be published as soon as possible” although “I would not want to be perceived as putting undue pressure on either the investigations team or the police”.

The SNP has called for the document to be released, claiming the government was attempting to “kick it into the long grass”.

Kirsten Oswald, the party’s deputy Westminster leader, said: “Sue Gray’s report cannot be kicked into the long grass while the Metropolitan Police conduct their investigation. 
“There is nothing stopping Ms Gray’s report from being published as planned, given that the Metropolitan Police has not raised any objections.
“Any attempts to block or delay publication of the report is just another pitiful attempt from a Prime Minister who knows his days in office are numbered.”

Scotland Yard confirmed that deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, the Metropolitan Police’s lead for Covid-19, would be responsible for the investigation.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “The Special Enquiry Team will lead the investigations. DAC Jane Connors will oversee the investigation in her role as the Met’s lead officer for Covid.