Boris Johnson gears up for brutal legal clash over ‘breach of contract’ message leaks

Matt Hancock shrugs as he’s asked about Cummings’ allegations

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Boris Johnson could decide to sue Dominic Cummings after the disgruntled former Downing Street advisor released screengrabs of messages shared between the two. Media lawyer Paul Gilbert has insisted the Prime Minister would be within his rights to take the former Vote Leave strategy guru to court if Mr Cummings had breached his contract of employment. However, the lawyer added the timing of the leaks suggested Mr Cummings was “carefully” choosing his moment. 

TalkRADIO’s Trisha Goddard asked: “So he could depending on what his contract says, he could actually be sued for divulging that.

“If he has some sort of clause saying what happens in the office stays in the office, something along those lines.”

Mr Gilbert replied: “Yes, he could be sued for breaching his contract of employment or breaching a restricted covenant.

“These are the terms that stay in place after you leave employment.

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“Although they generally have a time limit on them and it is usually around six months.

“So if you think about it we are probably at the six months now.

“So perhaps Dominic Cummings has thought a little carefully about when he is going to disclose all this information.

“But if there was a valid clause that was still in force-yes he could be sued for that.”

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It comes as Mr Cummings published archived WhatsApp chats between him and the Prime Minister discussing the Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s failure to boost testing.

During the exchange, Mr Cummings wrote: “US has gone from 2200 tests a fortnight ago to 27,000 a week ago to 100k yesterday.

“This is what we said we shd [sic] do. Instead we are still stuck on about five to seven k and MH [Matt Hancock] saying today he’s ‘sceptical’ about getting to 10k by Monday which said wd [sic] ‘definitely’ happen on Tuesday.

“This means tens of 1000s of NHS staff aren’t at work over next critical three weeks – – apart from my earlier point re testing being integral to escape plan…”

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He added: “They’ve totally f****d up ventilators. I just heard officials admit we have been turning down ventilator offers because ‘the price has been marked up’.”

Mr Johnson allegedly replied: “It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.”

In another screenshot, a message purportedly sent by the Prime Minister read: “Agree about [Sir Patrick] Vallance and [Chris] Whitty on PPE it’s a disaster.

“I can’t think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting [Michael] Gove on.”

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