Sunday 14 June 2020 / 5:45 PM Steve Reed

Labour demands investigation into Number 10’s role in the Westferry development

Labour has asked the Cabinet Secretary to investigate the role of the Prime Minister and senior No 10 advisers in the growing Westferry Printworks scandal.

The Prime Minister approved an earlier planning proposal at Westferry in 2016 while Mayor of London after meeting Richard Desmond on a number of occasions. It has now  been revealed that the lobbyist linked to the project has close links to the Prime Minister, his senior adviser Sir Edward Lister who was Deputy Mayor for Planning while Johnson was Mayor of London, and to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Labour has also asked the Cabinet Secretary to investigate whether Housing Minister Chris Pincher misled the House of Commons after a whistle-blower from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government claimed that Mr Jenrick did not notify senior officials following his dinner with Richard Desmond at the Carlton Club.


Steve Reed MP, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said:

“The Prime Minister’s extraordinary insistence that Robert Jenrick ‘did the right thing’, even though Jenrick has now admitted his decision was unlawful has done even more damage to trust in the planning system.

“The latest revelations expose the murky relationship between No 10, senior Government ministers and lobbyists for billionaire property developers – they warrant urgent investigation by the Cabinet Secretary into any wrongdoing.


“Ministers must not put the planning process up for sale to their wealthy friends.  The only disinfectant that can clear the stench around this decision is honesty.  Mr Jenrick must immediately publish all correspondence about this case to allow full public scrutiny of what he’s been up to.”