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29 Jul, 2019 16:09

BoJo adviser lays down strict ‘no leaks’ policy — but the warning is instantly leaked to media

BoJo adviser lays down strict ‘no leaks’ policy — but the warning is instantly leaked to media

Boris Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings has warned ministerial aides that they will be fired if any cabinet business is leaked to the press — but rather ironically, the warning itself was immediately leaked to the Telegraph.

Dominic Cummings told aides that he had a “one strike policy” on government leaks and “if you leak, you are gone,” according to one insider who relayed the juicy details of the meeting to the newspaper.

But the PM’s new adviser reportedly went even further, threatening that if any of the advisers tried to take him to an employment tribunal, “you will be dead to me.”

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Perhaps aware of the irony of the latest leaks, Cummings did not return a request for comment to the Telegraph. A Downing Street source astutely commented, however, that it “sounds like someone is breaking the one strike policy.”

“There has been a very clear message to special advisers that our focus is about delivering not about swanning around,” the person told the newspaper.

Cummings is a hardline Brexiteer and one of the masterminds of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign, who supports Johnson’s push for Britain to exit the European Union in October, even in a ‘no deal’ situation.

Cummings also reportedly told aides to prepare an emergency budget for the week following the Conservative Party conference in October ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU set for October 31. One source told the paper that the annual Tory gathering will be like a “no deal rally.”

Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May was plagued by leaks from her government. In May, former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was fired after reportedly leaking details of Chinese tech firm Huawei’s involvement with the development of Britain’s 5G network.

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Johnson himself had previously warned that he would ban leaking if he became prime minister, saying senior colleagues needed to be able to “speak their minds” in meetings without worrying about leaks to the press.

“That is no way to run a Government. I won’t have that if I am lucky enough [to become PM],” he said — but it looks like the so-called ban on anonymous leaks to the press will be near-impossible to implement.

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