NICOLA Sturgeon has warned the probe into lockdown parties held at Downing Street during lockdown is getting “murkier by the minute” as the wait goes on for Sue Gray’s report to be handed over to the Prime Minister.

Ms Gray, a senior civil servant with the Cabinet Office, was this week expected to deliver her investigation into a string of parties and gatherings at No 10 during lockdown – before the Met police announced it was investigating some of the events.

Today, police confirmed they have asked that Ms Gray’s report makes “minimal reference” to the specific events the force is examining, to avoid prejudicing ang criminal proceedings.

The Metropolitan Police insisted officers have not asked for Ms Gray’s report to be delayed or placed any further restrictions on other events.

But the force said it remains in contact with the Cabinet Office team that probed potential Covid breaches in No 10 and across wider Government to “avoid any prejudice to our investigation”.

READ MORE: Sue Gray report 'cover up' warning after police ask for details of probed parties to be left out

There are other reports that the publication is being further delayed by talks within the UK Government about what should be published.

Scotland’s First Minister has warned “this gets murkier by the minute”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “Sue Gray and the Met are in difficult positions but the sequence of events and the situation arrived at now creates the suspicion - however unfairly - that the process of inquiry is aiding Johnson at the expense of public accountability.

“I doubt Johnson cares about damage to the reputations of others - individuals or institutions - as long as he saves his own skin. But these things matter.

“Rapid conclusion and full publication of the findings of inquiries surely now essential for public trust.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, stressed that “any issues of prejudice have got to be worked through”.

But he told broadcasters during a visit to Glasgow: “What I want to see is Sue Gray’s report in full and the investigation finished as quickly as possible, because we’re in this situation where the whole of Government is paralysed because the police are looking at what the Prime Minister was getting up to in Downing Street.”

Amid warnings of a possible “stitch-up”, Government minister Chris Philp insisted that “between Sue Gray’s report and the police investigation everything will be fully covered”.

He told broadcasters: “I think the Sue Gray report is independent, the Government aren’t interfering with it.”