Boris Johnson’s cell quantity has been printed on-line for the previous 15 years, it has emerged amid reported fears inside No10 that the prime minister’s contact particulars are too extensively circulated.
The Downing Avenue safety element are stated to be concerned following the revelation amid concern about how many individuals have contacted him straight. The cellphone quantity was nonetheless in use by the prime minister on Thursday night.
Mr Johnson is reported to have beforehand been urged by prime civil servant Simon Case to alter his quantity because of the ease with which lobbyists, enterprise figures and others might have in accessing him. The prime minister is known to have ignored the recommendation.
The prime minister’s refusal to alter his cellphone quantity is reported to have been a supply of consternation inside Downing Avenue – a problem that has grown in prominence amid authorities lobbying scandals after it was found billionaire James Dyson had personally messaged him a few tax situation final 12 months.
Web customers have been capable of finding the prime minister’s direct line in a press launch from 2006 acquired by The Unbiased and first highlighted in a Popbitch gossip electronic mail.
Regardless of greater than a decade with the identical quantity, on Whatsapp the prime minister’s profile is accompanied by the default picture and “about” message provided by the applying.
Former UK nationwide safety adviser Lord Ricketts stated it was in Mr Johnson’s “personal curiosity to be rather more digitally safe than appears to be the case now”.
“I’m speaking actually of essentially the most senior politicians in delicate positions, whose cellphone conversations may effectively embrace delicate materials, commercially delicate materials, individuals attempting to foyer them for favours, or tax benefits, or talks with international leaders,” he instructed BBC Radio 4’s As we speak programme.
“And there, I believe you do have to just accept, simply as you do – you may’t simply stroll round by yourself and discuss to anybody you want – equally you shouldn’t be ready the place anybody who as soon as had your cellphone quantity can get to you when you’re a primary minister.
“And that’s one of many inconveniences of being prime minister but it surely’s for their very own sake and their very own safety actually, that entry to them must be managed and monitored.”
It comes as Mr Johnson and his authorities are mired in allegations of sleaze over the entry of lobbyists in Whitehall and renovations to his private flat above 11 Downing Avenue.
Earlier this week the Electoral Fee introduced it could examine how he paid for the costly redecoration, which some studies counsel value as much as £200,000.
In the meantime on Wednesday Sir James Dyson denied attempting to “extract favours” from the prime minister after a textual content alternate between the billionaire and Mr Johnson was leaked to the general public.
The messages confirmed the Brexiteer businessman receiving assurances that his abroad workers wouldn’t need to pay extra tax in the event that they got here to the UK to work on a ventilator venture as a part of the UK’s Covid-19 response, with Mr Johnson saying he would “repair” the difficulty.
Downing Avenue has been approached for remark.