READ IN FULL: Geidt and Boris Flat Refurbishment Letters

Read the main bullet point revelations from each letter below.

Geidt to Boris – 17th December

  • Geidt says the emergence of the ‘lost’ Whatsapp message “caused me to test my confidence in my earlier conclusions”
  • PM maintains that the text doesn’t undermine his previous statement that at “no point in the eight months until late February 2021″ was he aware that the costs were being met by Lord Brownlow personally
  • A number of his original conclusions “may have required further examination or qualification had the Missing Exchange been known to me”
    • “More crucially, I doubt whether I would have concluded, without qualification, what is set out in paragraph 33 of my report, that ‘at the point when the PM became aware, he took steps to make the relevant declaration and to seek advice.”
  • “It is plainly unsatisfactory that my earlier advice was unable to rely on the fullest possible disclosure of relevant information”
  • Geidt believes the standards were not met in the Cabinet Office’s attempts to access all exchanges
  • Geidt believes this incident has “placed at risk” public confidence in ministerial standards

Boris’s response to Geidt – 17th December

  • PM repeats “the humble and sincere apology I gave when we discussed this matter earlier today”
  • As reported earlier, he blames the lost messages on having to change his phone after his personal number came to light via Popbitch
  • Seems to place some blame on Geidt for not giving the government advanced copy of his report
  • PM is willing to consider Geidt’s recommended changes to the remit of the Independent Adviser to the ministerial code and will meet “early in the New Year” to discuss

Geidt’s concluding letter – 23rd December 

  • While the new disclosure didn’t result in a change to his original conclusion, it exposed “a signal deficiency in the standards upon which the Independent Adviser… have an absolute right to rely in establishing the truth in such matters.”
  • “Potential and real failures of process occurred in more than one party of the apparatus of government”
  • The absence of any attempt to inform Geidt that Brownlow had offered to share his PM Whatsapp with the Cabinet Office however this offer was declined was “unwise given the high standards” the PM set for him
  • Geidt wants the following improvements in powers to his office:
    • Increase in the level of dedicated official assistance
    • Offered the highest standards of openness, including full and prompt responses to requests from Ministers, SpAds and officials

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