Politics

No. 10 begins a leak investigation with James Dyson on Boris Johnson’s texts

Downing Street has announced an internal investigation into the leakage of private text messages between Boris Johnson and billionaire James Dyson about the tax status of his employees.

The Prime Minister promised the businessman that he would “fix” the problem through texts after personal lobbying by Dyson.

Dyson sought reassurances before agreeing to build ventilators at the height of the coronavirus crisis. In the end, Dyson never supplied ventilators to the NHS.

Labor has asked for an urgent investigation by Parliament’s Liaison Committee, which is made up of high-level MPs.

During Wednesday’s PMQs, union leader Keir Starmer suggested it was “one rule for those who have the prime minister’s phone number, another for everyone else”.

The text messages were received from the BBC. When asked if there would be a leak investigation, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said on Thursday, “I can confirm that we have directed the Cabinet Office to investigate.”

Downing Street also said it will publish “shortly” correspondence between Johnson and Dyson.

“The prime minister said in the house that he was happy to share all the details with the house as he shared them with his officials,” the spokesman said.

“We are working on that, we are summarizing this information.”

No. 10 also did not deny reports, including in The Times, that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case advised Johnson to change his phone number because of concerns about the ease with which lobbyists and others in the business community could contact him.

The spokesman said: “We do not go into the details of the advice between a cabinet secretary and a prime minister, and so I will not do that in this case.”

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