Boris Johnson’s former top adviser, Dominic Cummings, has attacked the PM in a lengthy blog post published on Friday (April 24).
Cummings levelled a series of explosive allegations at the PM, questioning his "competence and integrity" as leader of the county.
What did Dominic Cummings say in the post?
In his first blog article published since he left his post at the end of 2020, Cummings denied leaking Whatsapp messages between the PM and James Dyson.
He also denied being the “chatty rat” responsible for a leak regarding lockdown plans in October 2020, instead pointing the finger at Henry Newman, a special adviser and close friend of Carrie Symonds, the PM’s fiancee.
Cummings then alleged that Johnson tried to stop an inquiry into the leak due to the investigation possibly implicating one of Symond’s friends.
Cummings wrote that the PM said doing do would cause him “very serious problems” with his fiance.
The blog post also said:
-That Cummings had told the PM that was “mad” and “totally unethical” to cancel a leak and that he which had affected millions of people “just because it might implicate his girlfriend’s friends”.
- That he warned Mr Johnson against plans to have donors secretly pay for refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, saying they were “unethical, foolish (and) possibly illegal”.
- The new No 10 director of communications Jack Doyle made false accusations about Mr Cummings “at the PM’s request”.
- That while Mr Johnson had forwarded Cummings some of his WhatsApp exchanges with Sir James, they did not include those featured in the leak to the BBC.
Who is Henry Newman?
Henry Newman is a special adviser to Number 10 who was previously the director of think tank Open Europe.
The think tank specialised in relations between the UK and Europe and claimed to be a “non-partisan and independent” policy think tank.
Newman often appeared on Sky News and BBC segments to discuss the latest developments in the Brexit process.
A close friend of Carrie Symonds, Newman has also previously worked in the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office.
Cummings has accused Newman of being the person responsible for leaks over lockdown policy last October.
What has Downing Street said about the allegations?
In response to the blog post claims, a Downing Street statement said: "The prime minister has never interfered in a government leak inquiry."
A senior government official said: "The allegations against Henry Newman are entirely false. He wouldn't be working in Downing Street if he was suspected of leaking information."
What has the response been?
The allegations made by Cummings have been explosive, with the PM now facing calls to explain how the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat was paid for.
Labour have said Johnson must fully disclose who paid for the work - and whether, as Cummings alleged, it was paid for by donors.
Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Publish the details, have the full inquiry. If there's nothing to see here... have a full inquiry."
"Every day there's more evidence of this sleaze and frankly it stinks," he added.