Boris Johnson’s mobile number has been freely available on the web for the past 15 years, it’s been revealed.
The number, published during a 2006 handout that was never deleted, appears to be the one the PM still uses.
Last week, officials denied Mr. Johnson had been advised to change his number.
Labour MP Rachel Hopkins said the supply of Mr. Johnson’s telephone number had implications for security, lobbying, and therefore the risk of blackmail.
It is understood there were suggestions within the government that he should be less willing to pass on his contact details to external organizations.
Downing Street declined to discuss Thursday evening after the number’s availability was first reported by the celebrity gossip email newsletter, Popbitch.
In 2006, Mr. Johnson was MP for Henley and therefore the shadow education minister, and therefore the handout invited journalists to contact him for further comment on a few related issues.
Although he was a little less known than he is now, he still had a very high profile at that time, having already made several memorable appearances on the BBC’s Have I Got News for You.
Just two years later, he successfully stood to become mayor of London.
Attempts by the PA press agency to call the amount on Thursday night were met by an automatic message saying the phone was “switched off”, with a call for participation to “please try later or send a text”.
Mr. Johnson has been criticized for the way he uses his mobile in recent weeks, amid broader questions on lobbying within the govt.
It was revealed earlier this month that the prime minister had a text exchange with businessman Sir James Dyson at the beginning of the pandemic.
In the exchange, Mr. Johnson promised to “fix” a problem with the legal system, so that Sir James’s staff could stay within the UK long enough to create ventilators needed by the NHS.
The prime minister said he had done the “right thing” in “shifting heaven and earth and doing everything I possibly could” to assist increase supply.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it had been wrong that friends “who’ve got the prime minister’s number can access him and ask about tax breaks”.
The Daily Telegraph recently reported the UK’s most senior official, Simon Case, had suggested Mr. Johnson change his number because it had been too widely known.
Ministers are issued with official mobile phones once they get employment in government but are allowed to stay their ones.