Former chancellor Philip Hammond has demanded Boris Johnson apologise for Downing Street briefing the press that a former minister was behind the leak of an explosive no-deal document last week.
Operation Yellowhammer, the government’s assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit, was leaked to the Sunday Times last week, and predicted food, fuel and medicine shortages in the event the UK left the EU without an agreement.
Downing Street was quick to dismiss the contents of the document, saying it had been “deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders”.
A No.10 source at the time also dismissed the document as outdated and said government was now far more prepared for a no-deal Brexit than it had been under former Prime Minister Theresa May.
Hammond was forced to deny that he was the source of the leak. His opposition to a no-deal Brexit is well known.
It has now become apparent that the Operation Yellowhammer document leaked last week was dated August 2019, and was not ‘old’. My letter to the Prime Minister: pic.twitter.com/RUx9kl34Go
— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) 25 August 2019
Hammond tweeted: “It has now become apparent that the Operation Yellowhammer document leaked last week was dated August 2019, and was not ‘old’.”
In his letter, Hammond said: ” [It] would not, therefore, have been available to any former minister who is not serving in the current administration.
“Accordingly, I am writing on behalf of all former ministers in the last administration to ask you to withdraw these allegations which question our integrity, acknowledge that no former minister could have leaked this document, and apologise for the misleading briefing from No.10.”