James O'Brien's response to the Robert Jenrick 'cash for favours' controversy

25 June 2020, 11:53

By Adrian Sherling

James O'Brien asked if there's anything you can do to be sacked from Boris Johnson's government following the controversy over Robert Jenrick.

There are fresh calls for the Housing Secretary to resign over his involvement in a planning decision for a Tory donor.

Robert Jenrick has come under for texting Richard Desmond, the businessman behind plans for a controversial development in east London, while preparing to decide whether to approve it.

James was most angry about trying to expedite the application before a new tax scheme came into force which would have cost Mr Desmond £45m, money that would have gone to Tower Hamlets, the poorest borough in London.

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "Is there anything that would be a sackable offence in Boris Johnson's cabinet?

"If you're an aide, you can claim that you went for a 60-mile drive to get your eyes tested.

"If you're a Minister, you can conduct secret negotiations with a foreign government, get fired for it, but then get re-hired by this Prime Minister.

"And if you're a Housing Minister, it seems to me that you can expedite a development and overturn a decision by council and government planning inspectorate in order to save an extremely wealthy man about £45m.

James O'Brien had his say on the Robert Jenrick controversy
James O'Brien had his say on the Robert Jenrick controversy. Picture: LBC / PA

"That money wouldn't have gone to a rival tycoon. It's £45m that would have made its way to the coffers of the poorest borough in London.

"The idea that that £45m being taken out of the coffers of the poorest borough in London really disgusts me."

Hear his full monologue at the top of the page.