Partygate civil servant and former Newry pub owner Sue Gray denies she was a spy

​Sue Gray, who shot to fame over the Partygate report over events at Downing Street during lockdown, has denied that she was a spy during her time running a pub in Newry.
Sue Gray.Sue Gray.
Sue Gray.

​Ms Gray is currently Labour leader Kier Starmer’s chief of staff. In the 1980s she ran the Cove Bar along with her husband, country and western singer Bill Conlon. It is believed that during that time she refused to leave her car when the IRA tried to hijack her vehicle.

Asked for a new biography of the Labour leader if she had been working for British intelligence at the time, Ms Gray laughed and said: “I'm definitely not a spy and no, I never have been.”

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She also previously served as Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance here, before joining the Cabinet Office in 2021.

After refusing to have a leaving do in order to adhere to lockdown rules, the BBC NI's political correspondent Gareth Gordon remarked to her during an interview: “Someone put it to me that you were once a spy.”She replied: “I think if I was a spy, I'd be a pretty poor spy!

“If people are talking about me being a spy, I think people here have put a lot of trust in me and they've put a lot of faith in me, and we've worked really well together and I didn't think I'd be working externally in the way I am.”