Boris Johnson’s brother got a job with James Dyson just weeks before the hoover magnate was texting the PM. The revelation raises further questions about the links between the government and Dyson. It’s also emblematic of the cosy relationships between the Tories and big business.
Hoovering up tax?
As The Canary previously reported, Johnson has been at the centre of another scandal:
a series of text messages between Johnson and Dyson after the latter was unable to get the assurances he was seeking from the Treasury.
The exchanges took place in March last year at the start of the pandemic. It was when the government was appealing to firms to supply ventilators because it was worried the NHS could run out. So, Dyson wrote to the Treasury. He asked for an assurance his staff would not pay extra tax if they came to the UK to work on the project.
But when he failed to receive a reply… he took up the matter directly with the PM.
The BBC mocked up a graphic to show the text messages:
Johnson essentially claimed there’s ‘nothing to see here’. But he also said he would publish the text messages. So far, this hasn’t happened. Also, as The Canary previously reported, it’s still not clear if Dyson got any tax breaks for his staff or not. This is despite the ventilators in question never being supplied.
But now, it’s come to light that there’s a direct Johnson family connection to Dyson. And it started just before Dyson himself was lobbying the PM.
Dyson: it’s a family affair?
The Twitter account My Little Crony (feel free to chuckle) was created by student Sophie Hill. The account has put out that Johnson’s brother Joseph Edmund (known as Jo) works for Dyson. As they tweeted:
But Jo Johnson wouldn't be out of work for long. After standing down as an MP in the December 2019 election, he waits just a couple of months before taking a cushy job as non-executive director at… the Dyson Institute!https://t.co/8Tg3n4MJ8y pic.twitter.com/siBJ199uFl
— My Little Crony (@My_Little_Crony) May 2, 2021
Jo got the job on 18 February 2020. So, as My Little Crony pointed out:
The leaked text message exchange between Boris Johnson and James Dyson happened in March 2020 – just one month after Dyson gave Boris Johnson's unemployed brother a job! https://t.co/DK2yLrzI1O pic.twitter.com/qfp8IR7VRz
— My Little Crony (@My_Little_Crony) May 2, 2021
The company is listed as Dyson Technical Training Limited. But its front-facing name is the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology. It’s a higher education provider. The Dyson Institute specialises in training engineers. Of note is that the Dyson Institute credits Jo as being some sort of inspiration to set up the company. It’s a direct subsidiary of the Dyson company.
The corruption that doesn’t lose suction?
There’s nothing to indicate Jo has done anything wrong. He’s no longer an MP, and the parliamentary watchdog on former MPs’ new jobs didn’t seem to have an issue with Jo’s new role. It is led by Tory Lord Eric Pickles; also investigating allegations of Tory corruption. Also, there’s nothing to say that Jo had any involvement in his brother’s text message chat with Dyson.
Now, if you had a suspicious mind, you could ponder whether or not Jo had a quiet word with his brother on behalf of Dyson. Or even if Jo gave Dyson his brother’s mobile number. The Canary couldn’t possibly comment. You can make up your own mind.
But what this does show is that once again the links between the Tories and big business are closer than is comfortable.
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