The revelation on the front page of yesterday’s Sunday Times that a “dodgy dossier” recounting some of the more colourful aspects of Boris Johnson’s private life was doing the rounds has sparked yet more bitter recriminations within the Tory Party, with Boris supporters accusing Downing Street and CCHQ of circulating it in an attempt to take down their biggest threat. Downing Street and CCHQ have strenuously denied being behind it.
The Sunday Times named Nick Hargrave, the former deputy head of May’s policy unit, as the author of the dossier in 2016. Hargrave quit Number 10 for Portland Communications last Autumn and is not implicated in the recent distribution of the dossier.
However, Guido understands that Hargrave in fact prepared the dossier under the guidance of Alex Dawson, May’s Political Director, who is still in place in Number 10 today. Dawson and Hargrave are believed to have also prepared dossiers on several other potential candidates in the 2016 leadership election. This was at the same time that May was calling on other candidates to sign “clean campaigning” pledges…
Downing Street have insisted that no-one updated or circulated the dossier, despite widespread speculation amongst the lobby that the dossier had recently been updated. Why did it suddenly resurface, last week of all weeks?