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Latest 11 November 2021

Government refuses to reveal details of PM’s meeting with BP, saying it’s ‘not in the public interest’

An investigation by Good Law Project and Open Democracy can reveal that details of a meeting between Boris Johnson and oil company BP are to be kept secret, the Government has said, claiming it would “not be in the public interest” to reveal what was discussed.

The news comes as world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference, where Johnson is calling for “ambitious commitments”.

The Prime Minister met BP’s CEO Bernard Looney in September last year to discuss the oil giant’s “ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, supporting the Government’s green agenda and COP26”.

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But when the Government was asked by Good Law Project to release copies of the minutes and agenda from the meeting, it refused.

In its reply, the Cabinet Office said: “It would not be in the public interest to threaten the candour of all involved, if they were to take the view that the content of the discussions would be disclosed prematurely.”

It also said it was important to “ensure that the commercial interests of external companies are not damaged or undermined”.

We don’t have an issue with the Prime Minister sitting down with BP to discuss COP26. But if there’s nothing to hide, why do everything to hide it?

Once again Number 10’s stonewalling raises more questions than answers.

Read the full responses from Number 10 and the Cabinet Office

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