Westferry Printworks Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 1:40 pm, 24th June 2020

Let me just make some progress, if I may.

It is on public record that in November 2019, during the general election campaign, I was invited to a Conservative party event. This is not unusual for a Government Minister. I was seated next to Mr Desmond at the Conservative dinner, although, as I have said, I did not know the seating plan prior to arrival. I was not familiar with the majority of the table, but I understand that it included the editor of the Daily Mirror, the editor of the Express newspaper, executives from Northern & Shell and a former Conservative Member of Parliament. I had not planned to have any contact with Mr Desmond prior to the event. That was the first time I had ever met him.