TEN Downing Street is now a crime scene after cops yesterday launched a probe into the Partygate scandal.
PM Boris Johnson faces a police interview over boozy parties during lockdown after Whitehall investigator Sue Gray handed a dossier of rule-breaking allegations to the Met.
The PM insisted he had not broken the law — after the Met Police launched its own investigation into boozy lockdown bashes in No10.
Dame Cressida Dick’s shock announcement plunged into chaos the separate probe by top civil servant Sue Gray.
It was claimed that Ms Gray’s report, possibly due today, includes photos of the PM drinking wine with aides as part of the allegations of rule breaking.
The Met opened its investigation after receiving chunks of Ms Gray’s Cabinet Office report.
Mr Johnson now faces weeks of embarrassment and could become the first sitting PM in 16 years to be interviewed by police.
Even his closest allies admit he will be toast if cops find he breached his own Covid laws.
And his plan of using Ms Gray’s findings as a chance to reset his leadership and stare down Tory rebels were in tatters.
Officials and lawyers were last night arguing over whether the Gray report can be published in full without risking the police probe.
A version could be released today — with the PM expected to issue a grovelling Commons apology shortly after.
Dame Cressida’s dramatic intervention came as she spoke to the London Assembly’s police and crime committee.
She said: “As a result of the information provided by the Cabinet Office and my officers’ own assessment, I can confirm the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing Street and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to breaches of Covid regulations.”
She refused to say how long it might take, when it would report, or whether the PM himself would be investigated.
But she vowed her officers would “police without fear or favour”.
The probe could see No10 aides or even the PM slapped with fixed notice penalty of at least £200.
Defiant Mr Johnson told the Commons he welcomed the investigation as it would “give the public the clarity it needs” and help draw a line under matters.
On Monday it emerged an indoor birthday celebration was held for the PM during the first lockdown.
Downing Street confirmed that staff including the PM will co-operate in the Met’s probe and were last night offering legal advice to junior staff and aides.
Pressed if the PM believes he has broken the law, the spokesman added: “I think that’s fair to say that he does not.”
Tony Blair was the last PM to be quizzed by cops.
He was interviewed three times as a witness but not a suspect during the cash for peerages inquiry in 2006.
No10 is now on red alert for the Tory mutiny against Boris to reach the 54 letters of no-confidence required to trigger a vote.
Dozens of MPs had been waiting for Ms Gray’s report before casting judgment.
But after her findings were handed to police, Mr Johnson’s enemies regrouped and could pounce today.
Insiders said the Gray report could still emerge this week.
Initial claims it would be paused were dismissed, and it is understood she is still determined to see her findings published.
Downing Street said it would not block that from happening after initially claiming only parts of the probe could continue while police were investigating.
Cabinet ministers gathered inside No10 for their weekly briefing were blindsided by the probe despite the PM learning of the development in advance.
Some were privately furious they were not warned.
‘AMBUSHED BY A CAKE’
PM ally Jacob Rees-Mogg insisted the Government was going from strength to strength under his leadership.
And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the PM’s so-called birthday party in the No10 Cabinet rooms on June 19 2020.
Mr Shapps said it was “probably unwise” to hold an impromptu celebration but stressed it was not a party just because “someone says… here’s a cake”.
And Conor Burns MP told Channel 4 News: “As far as I can see, he was in a sense, ambushed with a cake. They came to his office with a cake, sang happy birthday, he was there for ten minutes.
“I don’t think most people looking at that at home would characterise that as a party. I support him, I want him to continue as Prime Minister.”
But former minister Tobias Ellwood told Sky News: “My confidence in Boris is slipping away.”
And one Cabinet Minister told HOAR: “I’ve no idea how this ends. It’s now death by a thousand cuts. He could win the next election — or be dragged off in cuffs next week.
“He’s still in good spirits, but he needs to show his MPs some love or it might be curtains.”