Johnson to hold final business council summit with bosses amid ‘party crisis’

Boris Johnson is scheduled to hold talks with some of Britain’s most prominent business leaders on Wednesday as the crisis deepens over social events held in Downing Street last Christmas.

Sky News has learnt that chief executives from companies including BP, British Airways and BT Group are expected to meet the prime minister for the final meeting of the Build Back Better Council (BBBC).

A draft of the meeting agenda which has been shared with Sky News said that Mr Johnson was expected to summarise the council’s final report ahead of a discussion “on what business can do to support the UK to realise and commercialise our science and technology ambition, and equally how government can encourage businesses to play their part in this vision”.

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PM loses place in speech, uses Peppa Pig joke

The talks with come soon after Sky News revealed that Downing Street had started work on an overhaul of the PM’s roster of business advisers.

Among the others appointed to the BBBC at the beginning of the year were executives from Balfour Beatty, Darktrace, Jaguar Land Rover, Tesco and Unilever.


Some of those involved this year have been told they will not be retained in 2022, according to one source.

One of the council’s members said on Wednesday morning that the meeting was still likely to take place, although the person added that they would “not be surprised if it was cancelled”.

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Mr Johnson is engulfed in the most torrid period of his premiership after a leaked video showed his advisers joking about a party held in Number 10 last year during a period of tight restrictions on social gatherings.

The footage was obtained by ITV News, whose parent company’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, is among the members of the PM’s advisory group.

Image: Footage of the PM’s advisers was obtained by ITV News, whose parent company’s boss Dame Carolyn McCall is part of the business group

His relations with the business community have continued to be testy, with a speech to the CBI’s annual conference last month ridiculed after he repeatedly lost his way.

The meeting of the BBBC is due to be followed by a “short reception with refreshments”, according to the meeting agenda.

Downing Street was contacted for comment on Wednesday morning.