11:44 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Britain's Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson gestures during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham, England, Saturday June 22, 2019

    Johnson Refutes Reports on Government Attempts to Block His Access to Intelligence Data

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Boris Johnson, who is a leading candidate for the post of UK prime minister, refuted on Friday media reports about UK government’s alleged attempts to block his access to intelligence data when he was foreign secretary in 2016-2018.

    "It’s not true but obviously I can't comment any further on intelligence matters. I am sure that the prime minister would not comment on intelligence matters either so I am extremely dubious about the provenance of this story", Johnson told reporters, answering a question about the recent reports.

    Earlier in the day, the BBC broadcaster reported that the UK government, headed by then-Prime Minister Theresa May had tried to prevent Johnson from having access to sensitive intelligence information. According to the media outlet, May and some intelligence officials worried about Johnson’s ability to keep information secret.

    In June, the UK Conservative Party said that its new leader would be announced on July 23 after its 160,000 members vote to choose between the two remaining candidates, Johnson and incumbent Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The new leader of the Conservative Party will automatically become the new UK prime minister.

    In May, May announced her decision to resign as the prime minister over her failure to ensure UK withdrawal from the European Union within the set time limits.

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