Westferry Printworks Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:18 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 3:18 pm, 24th June 2020

I am having difficulty believing that we are having the debate, as the story of the Secretary of State and Mr Desmond reads like something straight out of a Frederick Forsyth or John le Carré novel. A fabulously wealthy former pornographer and major Conservative party donor happens to sit next to the Secretary of State at a £900-a-head Conservative party dinner just weeks before that Secretary of State makes a decision on a £1 billion property deal of Mr Desmond’s.

At the dinner, Mr Desmond leans over to the Secretary of State to show him a video. I bet the Secretary of State now wishes it was from one of Mr Desmond’s former television channels, but as we now know, it was a promotional video of the luxury development. Mr Desmond openly admitted this, saying:

“What I did was I showed him the video”.

Mr Desmond revealed that the Secretary of State watched it for three to four minutes.