Wednesday 17 June 2020 / 4:47 PM Housing / Steve Reed

Labour demands the Prime Minister discloses meetings with Richard Desmond in the run up to the Westferry development scandal

Labour has today demanded answers from No 10 about Boris Johnson’s relationship with Richard Desmond and his role in the Westferry scandal, in which Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick unlawfully approved a planning application knowing that it would help the multibillionaire Conservative Party donor avoid tens of millions of pounds in tax.

Labour has demanded to know how many occasions Boris Johnson has met Richard Desmond since becoming Prime Minister, as well his meetings with other Conservative Party donors. It follows reports that the Cabinet Secretary is investigating the Housing Secretary for a breach of the Ministerial Code.


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

“This murky affair threatens to engulf 10 Downing Street. It’s not just the Housing Secretary that needs to come clean about the decisions he has taken, it’s the Prime Minister too.

“Robert Jenrick’s unlawful, biased decision that saved Desmond tens of millions of pounds was seeded in the Prime Minister’s approval of this application while he was Mayor of London, when he was wined and dined by Desmond in five star hotels across London.

“This scandal reaches right inside 10 Downing Street given the Prime Minister’s relationship with Richard Desmond. He must now come clean about when he and his advisers met Desmond since taking office and must ask the Cabinet Secretary to launch a formal investigation into any breaches of the Ministerial Code to show the Conservatives have not been accepting cash for favours.”