Johnson Denies His Access to Intelligence Was Restricted by May

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson, the front-runner to become the next British prime minister, denied reports that intelligence was kept from him when he was foreign secretary.

“It’s not true, but I obviously can’t comment on intelligence matters,” he told a leadership event in Darlington, England on Friday.

The BBC and the Sun reported on Friday that Prime Minister Theresa May sought to restrict Johnson’s access to intelligence after she made him foreign secretary in 2016. The BBC said one individual aware of the events attributed the attempt to the overly controlling nature of May’s team at the time. The Sun reported that intelligence bosses feared they could not trust Johnson with the most sensitive intelligence.

The foreign secretary is the minister responsible for day-to-day operations of MI6, the secret intelligence service, and GCHQ, the government’s listening post.

"We don’t comment on intelligence matters," a spokeswoman for May said. "It’s a matter of fact that it was the prime minister’s own decision to appoint Boris Johnson as foreign secretary in the full knowledge of the responsibilities that job involves."

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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