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'Pure spoof': Government rubbishes Dominic Raab claims that Taoiseach leaked to media about him

The former UK Brexit secretary said he was ‘misrepresented’ to the media by Leo Varadkar.

Raab was speaking yesterday to the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
Raab was speaking yesterday to the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
Image: PA Images

THE GOVERNMENT HAS rubbished claims by the former UK Brexit secretary Dominic Raab that the Taoiseach leaked inaccurate information about him to the media.

Raab was speaking yesterday to Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and said that the information was “leaked in an inaccurate and misrepresenting way”.

Raab denied that this meant he was accusing the Taoiseach of lying, but rather that the information in the report was not correct.

A report in the Telegraph claimed that Raab that had privately suggested to Tánaiste Simon Coveney that the backstop be time-limited to three months.

“The conversation I had with him was leaked to the media in terms which were not factually accurate, in terms of the proposal that I had put forward, privately and confidentiality at his request,” Raab told the committee.

And it was leaked in an inaccurate and misrepresenting way by the Taoiseach directly.

Responding last night to Raab’s claims, Coveney’s advisor last night described Raab’s comment’s as “pure spoof”.

The chain of events surrounding Raab’s rubbished claim involves a meeting that was held between Raab, his adviser, the Tánaiste and his adviser.

A week later The Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times reported thatRaab had suggested to Coveney that Britain should have the right to withdraw from the backstop after three months.

Dismissing the claim from Raab, a government source questioned when the Irish government has ever leaked to The Daily Telegraph. The Tánaiste and Taoiseach were asked about the newspaper reports at the time, they added. 

“Then three months later the Taoiseach is being brandished the leaker. Totally bizarre,” they added. 

During exchange, Raab said that the meeting in question with Coveney was “very constructive” and that the pair had agreed to keep it private.”

“Check the media, I didn’t comment on it. It was only commented on, not by Simon Coveney, but by the Taoiseach,” Raab stated.

A government spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that the claim is “absolutely nonsense”.

“There is no basis to this allegation. Mr Raab should produce any evidence to support it if he has any,” they added. 

Raab was the UK’s Brexit secretary from July to November last year but resigned from Theresa May’s Cabinet when he disagreed with the Withdrawal Agreement being proposed by the Prime Minister. 

With additional reporting by Christina Finn 

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Rónán Duffy

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