Labour’s privileged access criticism of Boris Johnson falls apart if his mobile number was googleable

The whole Dyson story was a non-starter, and the fact that anyone could have rung or texted our open-access prime minister to lobby him just makes it seem sillier, says John Rentoul

Friday 30 April 2021 19:49
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<p>‘You’re a nurse, you say, and you want a pay rise?’</p>

‘You’re a nurse, you say, and you want a pay rise?’

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eir Starmer tried to be sternly disapproving when he asked Boris Johnson at last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions about his text exchange with Sir James Dyson. A screenshot of these texts had been leaked, which, the Labour leader said, showed the prime minister being “lobbied by a wealthy businessman and close friend for a change in the tax rules”.

Starmer’s question was: “How many other people with the prime minister’s personal number has he given preferential treatment to?”

Now it turns out that not only does Sir James hotly deny being a “friend” of Johnson’s – a defamatory allegation in some circles – but that everybody else could have had the prime minister’s personal number if they were prepared to do a bit of light googling.

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