Number 10 has refused to deny that Boris Johnson personally briefed editors of pro-Tory newspapers over a number of leaks against him.
The Telegraph, Sun, and Times last week all claimed that Dominic Cummings was to blame for “systematic leaking” of the prime minister’s texts with James Dyson and Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The briefing – which appeared in stories on the newspaper websites at 10.15pm on Thursday evening – claimed the PM was “saddened about what Dom is doing” and Cummingw was “bitter” about his departure from Number 10.
The remarks led to a rebuke from Cummings on his own personal blog., in which he claimed his office has fallen “so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves”.
Downing Street did not deny that Johnson could have personally phoned a number of national newspapers to discuss the leaks.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “There was a great deal of speculation over the weekend in relation to these leaks and I’m not planning to be drawn on those.
“I’m not going to be drawn on the inquiry at this stage.”
Asked whether they were not denying that the PM briefed editors, they said: “I’m not going to add anything to that.”
Questioned whether Johnson would be declaring the conversations, he replied: “I’m not across the exact rules as relates to that but all I can say is that the prime minister will abide by and does abide by all rules in terms of declaring interests and transparency returns, and that sort of thing.”