Politics

Boris Johnson news – live: Cummings blamed for leaks as Labour demands details of PM’s meeting with Woodward


Boris Johnson calls European Super League ‘a cartel’

Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings has been blamed by No 10 for the leaking of the prime minister’s text message exchange with Sir James Dyson about tax changes.

A Downing Street source has told newspapers that suggested Mr Cummings was “engaged in systematic leaking” and was still “bitter” about his exit from No 10 last year.

It comes as The Independent reveals that Mr Johnson met Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward at No 10 in the days before the launch of the despised European Super League.

Labour is demanding details of the meeting to show that the PM had no advanced warning of the ill-fated breakaway league. “Downing Street should release the minutes in order to clear up any confusion,” said Jo Stevens, shadow culture secretary.

Meanwhile, newly-released documents show how David Cameron and Lex Greensill made a barrage of desperate appeals to Treasury officials and the Bank of England for financial support as Greensill Capital’s income dried up.

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‘We don’t want ministers locked away in ivory towers’

Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons liaison committee, has rejected calls to launch his own inquiry into Boris Johnson’s conduct following the Dyson text revelation.

“The liaison committee doesn’t have the remit to carry out its own inquiries,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“The select committees themselves don’t much like the liaison committee interfering in their inquiries. There are a very comprehensive set of inquiries in progress and they are co-ordinating effectively together.”

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Defending the PM and other ministers, Jenkin said: “We don’t want ministers to be locked away in ivory towers, out of touch with the real world, with people unable to contact them.”

Adam Forrest23 April 2021 09:10

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Talking to lobbyists? We do it ‘all the time’, says minister

One government minister has downplayed Boris Johnson’s response to lobbying by billionaire James Dyson – claiming her colleagues do similar things “all the time”.

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage – doing the media round on Friday –said: “We don’t hand out our mobile numbers willy-nilly but government ministers do have to engage with businesses all the time.”

“The key thing is that we follow the process, we pass anything like that on to the civil service team to take forward. There are very clear rules and that’s what we all do,” she told Times Radio.

Adam Forrest23 April 2021 09:06

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Labour demands details of PM’s meeting with Ed Woodward

Boris Johnson met Man United chief executive Ed Woodward at No 10 days before the launch of the despised European Super League, The Independent can reveal.

Mr Woodward – who has since quit in disgrace – held a formal meeting with the No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield on Wednesday last week (and also briefly met the PM).

Sources at Manchester United said that Woodward’s talks at Downing Street were “around Covid restrictions and the return of fans to stadiums” and No 10 source has said there was “definitely no discussion of the Super League”.

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But Labour is demanding details of the meeting to show the PM had no advanced warning of the ill-fated breakaway league.

“Downing Street should release the minutes in order to clear up any confusion and avoid accusations of hypocrisy,” said Jo Stevens, shadow culture secretary.

Adam Forrest23 April 2021 08:52

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Cameron repeatedly lobbied Bank of England, messages reveal

Newly-released documents have revealed how Lex Greensill that tens of thousands of British small businesses could miss out on payments if he and David Cameron failed in their efforts to secure Covid support from the government.

Cameron and the Australian financier made a barrage of increasingly desperate appeals to Treasury officials and the Bank of England for support as Greensill Capital’s income dried up, a 30-page dossier released last night revealed.

It follows the Treasury’s most senior civil servant, Sir Tom Scholar, revealing to the Treasury committee that he had personally spoken with Cameron by phone, saying it was “quite natural” for him to do so.

Adam Forrest23 April 2021 08:45

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No 10 points finger at Dominic Cummings over leaks

Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings has been blamed for the leaking of the PM’s text exchange with Sir James Dyson.

Various newspapers all reported comments from a No 10 insider naming Cummings.

“Dominic is engaged in systematic leaking,” a source told The Times. “We are disappointed about that. We are concerned about messages from private WhatsApp groups which have very limited circulation.”

The source suggested Johnson was “saddened” and Cummings was “bitter” after his exit from No 10.

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Adam Forrest23 April 2021 08:40



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