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30th Apr 2021

Boris Johnson’s personal mobile number has been available online for 15 years

Claudia McInerney

“It’s the digital equivalent of being able to ‘drop’ in on the Prime Minister”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s personal mobile number has been accessible online for the past 15 years.

The PM’s contact details were published in a press release back in 2006, however they were never deleted.

Johnson was still using the widely-known phone number on Thursday night, however the phone now seems to be turned off, leaving phone users with the option to send a text message, the BBC reports.

No. 10 security officers are said to be involved over concerns about the number of people who have contacted the PM on his personal mobile number, according to the Independent.

This comes after the revelation on Thursday evening that Johnson’s phone number was in the public domain, as reported by Popbitch.

As reported by the Daily Telegraph, Simon Case, the country’s most senior civil servant, advised the PM to change his personal number as it was well-known. However, Johnson reportedly did not take on board his advice.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the former UK national security adviser, Lord Ricketts, said that it was in the Prime Minister’s “own interest” to be “much more digitally secure than seems to be the case now.”

Lord Ricketts told BBC News this morning that he was “surprised” the Johnson did not change his phone number when he became Prime Minister.

He said: “Of course, everyone likes to have their mobile phone number. But when you become Prime Minister, you have to accept restrictions on some of your freedoms…”

Lord Ricketts continued: “You can’t just have anybody dropping into the office who fancies coming to lobby you about something. But if lots of people have your mobile phone number, that’s the digital equivalent of just being able to ‘drop in’ on the Prime Minister.

“I think it ought to be absolutely basic security that when a Prime Minister comes in, they change their phone number.”

This comes after it was revealed earlier this month that Johnson had exchanged text messages with Sir James Dyson at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, in which the PM said he would solve a tax issue for the businessman, who had plans to make ventilators during the shortage in the UK.

The Labour Leader Keir Starmer has recently accused the PM of being at the heart of the Tory Party supplying “dodgy contracts” and facilitating “jobs for their mates”.

In Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday, Johnson responded with fury to the Opposition’s accusations, listing achievements made by the Tory Party in recent months.