Boris Johnson said he could not give a timescale on publishing the Sue Gray report, during a visit to Penmaenmawr in Conwy today.

The PM denied allegations that he was personally delaying the report's release, and told reporters he could not give any further information.

"You’ve got to let the independent inquiries go on," he said.

“What I hope people understand is that while we wait for all that to go on, you’ve got to get on, and the Government is getting on with our work.

“So it’s clearing the Covid backlogs but also making sure that we help to fix the cost of living crisis and help to address the issues with inflation by helping to move people off welfare into work.”

The National Wales: The PM visited a construction supplies company in north Wales this morning, as pressure mounts over partygate.(Picture: PA Wire)The PM visited a construction supplies company in north Wales this morning, as pressure mounts over partygate.(Picture: PA Wire)

The government announced today that Universal Credit claimants will be forced to widen their job search outside their area of work after four weeks, rather than three months, or face sanctions to their benefits.

Downing Street denied this afternoon that the government had become distracted from policymaking by the ongoing partygate scandal, and rejected concerns from Tory MP Mark Harper that it would attempt to “conceal or suppress crucial details”.

“We are in no way seeking to block the report nor are we seeking to do as Mark Harper suggests," the Prime Minister's spokesperson said.

“It remains our intention to publish the report as it is received from the investigation.”

The National Wales: Downing Street said that the PM was focused on the public's priorities. (Picture: PA Wire)Downing Street said that the PM was focused on the public's priorities. (Picture: PA Wire)

The PM's office said that it "remains hypothetically possible" that the Gray report could be published before the weekend, adding that a decision would be made with the Commons Speaker if the report was received on Friday night.

They say they have had “no sight whatsoever” of the report so far.

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has sought to up the pressure today, telling the PA news agency: "The Sue Gray report needs to be published in full and as soon as possible.

READ MORE: Partygate: Boris Johnson waits for Sue Gray's report

And I mean in full – not redacted, not edited, not a summary, not parts left out. In full.

“The idea that so many families who went through grief in the last two years should have hidden from them the full picture of what the Prime Minister was up to and what was going on in Downing Street, is unthinkable.

"We will pursue every option to make sure that report is out in full."

Starmer accused the government of being "paralysed" by the scandal, adding that he wanted the PM "focused on the issues that really matter in this country.”

But No10 insisted that Johnson is concentrating on "the public’s priorities”, pointing to his visit to construction industry supplier Hanson Aggregates in the county of Conwy this morning.

“I think you saw the Prime Minister in the House yesterday talking about what the Government is doing, what he is focused on," his spokesperson told PA.

“That absolutely remains the case and that’s why he is getting out today to Wales to look at what work the Government’s doing on things like creating jobs.

"We are getting on with the job, as the Prime Minister said yesterday.”

Additional reporting: Rebecca Wilks

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