Boris Johnson is a 'security risk', former home secretary tells LBC

30 January 2022, 13:26 | Updated: 30 January 2022, 13:30

By Sophie Barnett

Former home secretary Lord David Blunkett has told LBC Boris Johnson is a "security risk" after it was claimed highly-classified documents were left lying around his Downing Street flat.

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The classified material, known as Strap documents, were allegedly found lying around in the Prime Minister's Downing Street flat and in the upstairs quarters at his Chequers retreat.

The PM's former top aide Dominic Cummings ordered a crackdown on intelligence documents being put in Mr Johnson's red box in early 2020 after becoming alarmed by the "frat house" atmosphere, the Sunday Times reported.

Appearing on LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday, Lord David Blunkett said the issue of security at Downing Street should be prioritised.

The former home secretary, from 2001 to 2004, told Tom Swarbrick: "We've got two issues here, the breach of Covid rules by those who often were involved in making the rules and we've got breach of security at No10 and No11, which should worry us all."

He told Tom questions need to be answered as to how and why footage of what took place at Downing Street got out, adding there is a "real problem" at No10 in terms of security.

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"When John Major was prime minister there was an attack by the IRA on Downing Street. Since then we've developed an understanding of cyber attack as opposed to physical attack, I don't think the people dealing with the security around the prime minister and the chancellor have the first idea about the potential of cyber attack," Lord Blunkett told Tom.

"I think out of this fiasco over the last few months, the revelations, I think we should be concentrating on getting that right as well as drawing a line under what's happened with the parties and trying to restore some credibility to the British government."

He added that MI5 and counter-terror police should be looking at possible security breaches if they haven't already, stressing there are "real implications".

"You are suggesting the prime minister is a security risk?" Tom asked.

"I think so, yes," Lord Blunkett replied.

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"I think the way that this has emerged needs us to ask the question what if it was a foreign power with malign interests that had actually infiltrated the systems at Downing Street, including CCTV and the like.

"It clearly wasn't. But at one stage I was thinking who knows who is behind this as well as Dominic Cummings.

"Those questions are profound ones for the future. And whilst we must clear up who did what and why, and whether they let us down very badly in terms of the breach of rules they were making, in the long term we've got to get these other issues sorted."

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