A Number 10 spokesperson has explicitly denied that Government Ministers have used private email addresses:
“Both the former health secretary and Lord Bethell understand the rules around personal email usage and only ever conducted government business through their departmental email addresses”.
This is impossible to square with statements made by the Second Permanent Secretary in meeting minutes published by The Sunday Times. Those minutes clearly state that disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock “corresponds only with private office via a gmail account”.
It is also impossible to square with emails we hold.
On 19 April 2020 Lord Feldman (who you’ll recall lobbied to win PPE contracts for at least one of his clients while working at DHSC) emailed Lord Bethell on his private @jbethell.com address about Covid-19 test kits:
Plainly this is government business. And plainly Lord Feldman, once co-Chair of the Conservative Party, was writing to James Bethell at his private email address on that government business. This is far from the only email we hold involving Lord Bethell’s private email address.
It is shocking to hear the Prime Minister, via his spokesperson, mislead the public.
Tomorrow we will give you jaw-dropping details of the type of business that was being conducted using private gmail addresses.
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