Dominic Cummings has denied being the source of a BBC story on Boris Johnson’s text communications with businessman James Dyson.
In a blog post that claims that Johnson and his office has fallen “so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves”, he denied leaking the messages.
The prime minister’s former aide said: “I do have some WhatsApp messages between the PM/Dyson forwarded to me by the PM.
“I have not found the ones that were leaked to Laura Kuenssberg on my phone nor am I aware of being sent them last year. I was not directly or indirectly a/the source for the BBC/Kuenssberg story on the PM/Dyson texts.”
He said he is “happy to meet with the cabinet secretary” and to have his phone searched.
He added: “If the PM did send them to me, as he is claiming, then he will be able to show the cabinet secretary on his own phone when they were sent to me.
“It will therefore be easy to establish at least if I was ever sent these messages. I am also happy to publish or give to the cabinet secretary the PM/Dyson messages that I do have, which concerned ventilators, bureaucracy and covid policy — not tax issues.”
Referring to the leak of a decision on having another lockdown last autumn, he said: “Last year there was a meeting between the PM, cabinet secretary, the director of communications and me regarding the leak of the decision for a further lockdown on the Friday evening immediately after the meeting in the Cabinet Room that made the decision (known in the media as ‘the chatty rat story’).”
He said Johnson “knows that I was not the source of the leak and that the cabinet secretary authorised the prime minister’s official spokesman to tell the media this, yet he has now authorised his DOC (director of communications) to make this accusation”.
He said events around that situation had “contributed to my decision to stick to my plan to leave No10 by 18 December, which I had communicated to the PM in July the day before my long-delayed operation”.
Hitting back at Downing Street sources in the daily newspapers, he continued: “It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”
The ex-aide confirmed he will appear before MPs next month.
He wrote: “I will not engage in media briefing regarding these issues but will answer questions about any of these issues to parliament on 26 May for as long as the MPs want.”
Downing Street has outlined details of Boris Johnson’s communications with billionaire James Dyson, but stopped short of publishing their messages amid a lobbying row.