Downing Street has announced an internal inquiry into the leak of private text messages between Boris Johnson and billionaire James Dyson over the tax status of his employees.
Johnson promised the entrepreneur he would “fix” the issue after personal lobbying from Dyson as he sought to build ventilators at the height of the coronavirus crisis, in a series of text messages seen by the BBC.
No 10 had initially said there would not be a probe into how the exchange was made public, but a change of course was announced after it said an internal inquiry will be led by the Cabinet Office.
The PM’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “I can confirm that, yes, we have instructed the Cabinet Office to look into this.
“The position has changed from yesterday – it was correct at the time yesterday but, as usual, we keep things under review and we have now decided to undertake this internal inquiry.
“As you would expect, we continually look at this and the position we decided today is that we want to make sure we have this internal inquiry into that.”
The spokesman confirmed the inquiry will examine the source of leaks of Johnson’s private communication “as related to this issue of Dyson”.
Downing Street has said it will publish correspondence between Johnson and Dyson “shortly”, after the PM he was “happy to share all the details” of the exchanges.
The spokesperson said: “The prime minister said in the House he’s happy to share all the details with the House, as he shared them with his officials.
“That’s what we’re working on, we’re pulling together that information, it will be published shortly.”