Dominic Cummings has reportedly set up a network of ‘spy’ informants to stop ministerial aides from leaking to journalists.
In the latest leak it was revealed that Boris Johnson’s top adviser told special advisers last week they must now stop giving favours to journalists by producing up to half the bill if they go for lunch, dinner, or drinks with the media.
“The people’s government doesn’t take any favours,” the Sunday Times reports him as saying. “No coffees, no lunches, no drinks. Especially not with journalists.”
Cummings is alleged to have contacted key dining spots in SW1 asking staff to report to him if they are spotted with reporters.
Anyone who is spotted having lunch without declaring it faces disciplinary action.
“Dom has already talked to most of the restaurants in the area. He knows a lot of them,” a source said. “He’s got a network of spies who will report back if our people are in there with their media mates. I’m deadly serious.”
Special advisers are meant to declare meetings with the media but many choose not to do so.
The Mail on Sunday reports one was even tracked by Number 10 to see if they were behind leaks to the newspapers.