LONDON: Chancellor Sajid Javid “voiced his anger” to Boris Johnson over the sacking of one of his special advisers by No 10, the BBC has learned. On Thursday, Sonia Khan was escorted from Downing Street by police after her security clearance was withdrawn.
It came after she was summoned to a meeting with the prime minister’s senior aide Dominic Cummings, about government leaks. Both Downing Street and Mr Javid have declined to comment about the issue.
Asked about the sacking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Javid said he would not talk about personnel issues, but said: “I think my views are well understood.” He insisted that he had a “fantastic” relationship with Mr Johnson and called assertions from the Labour Party that he lacks authority over the Treasury “nonsense”.
On Friday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted that Mr Cummings was “obviously in charge of the Treasury, as well as No 10”.
Responding to the claim, Mr Javid said: “Every government has had opponents, they will always paint pictures that they want to exist, but they’re not really there.”
‘Unhelpful political row’
The BBC’s political correspondent, Iain Watson, said there appeared to be an informal investigation being conducted into the leak of the Operation Yellowhammer documents – commissioned under the previous regime at Downing Street – setting out the potential consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
A Downing Street source had previously pointed the finger for the leak at an unnamed former minister, prompting the then chancellor, Philip Hammond, to write to Mr Johnson and ask him to “apologise for the misleading briefing from No 10”.
At the meeting with Mr Cummings, Ms Khan, who worked under Mr Hammond, handed over both her personal and work phones, and her phone logs were checked. Evidence was found that she had been in touch with former colleagues who had worked for Mr Hammond, but not that she had been involved in leaking any sensitive government information.