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Act Now on Sleaze Crisis or Lose 'Red Wall' Votes, Boris Johnson Warned

Boris Johnson will lose the trust of former Labour voters who helped put him in Downing Street unless he tackles the burgeoning sleaze crisis now threatening to engulf his government

The warning from Sir Bernard Jenkin, chair of the powerful Commons liaison committee, is evidence of mounting concern in Conservative ranks about the potential electoral damage to the Tory party, particularly in so called “red wall” seats, from any further revelations like the David Cameron lobbying scandal.

Details of Cameron’s attempts to lobby Tory ministers on behalf of the Australian financier Lex Greensill have been followed in recent days by news that supposedly independent civil servants have been allowed to take on concurrent jobs in the private sector.

The Labour party is now raising further questions about the financial interests of senior Conservatives and of advisers to the government, including those of the health secretary, Matt Hancock, Johnson’s own adviser on civil service reform, Francis Maude, and the prime minister’s deputy chief of staff, Simone Finn.

The Guardian has also revealed that the man who was appointed by Boris Johnson to rule over the Greensill lobbying scandal in an independent inquiry is on the board of a private bank that has close ties with the Conservative party. Finn sat on its board until recently.

The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, on Saturday night raised concerns about Hancock’s involvement in a family firm, in which he has a 15% holding, which uses the NHS logo on its website.

Ashworth said there was a risk of a conflict of interest.

Full story at The Guardian