Boris Johnson has come under fire from opposition leaders for saying he would “fix” tax rules for billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson at the same time as failing to provide three million self-employed people with support.
The BBC revealed the prime minister had exchanged texts with Dyson – whose firm is based in Singapore – and told him that neither he nor his employees would pay extra when helping to make ventilators for the UK during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PM – Dyson texts pic.twitter.com/NEXl1VCIK3
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) April 21, 2021
At Prime Minister’s Questions, both Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and SNP spokesperson Ian Blackford attacked “tory sleaze” while making reference to ExcludedUK, the campaign group set up to support mostly self-employed people unable to access pandemic support packages.
Starmer said: “Mr Speaker, this shows once again that favours, privileged access, tax breaks for mates – they are the main currency of this Conservative government.
“If that’s not the case, can the prime minister tell me: if one of the three million self-employed people, who have been excluded from government support for over a year and now face bankruptcy – if they text the prime minister to ask for a tax break so they can survive, will he changed the rules for them too?”