In full: Robert Jenrick's texts to Richard Desmond

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Robert JenrickImage source, Getty Images

Text messages between Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick and property developer Richard Desmond have been published amid a row about a controversial planning application.

Labour says the messages, published by the government, show "discrepancies" in the minister's account of events in the run-up to his approval of a large housing development in east London. But Downing Street considers the matter "closed".

Here is a transcript of the text messages, in full.

18 November 2019

Robert Jenrick: Good to spend time with you tonight Richard. See you again soon I hope. Robert Jenrick

Richard Desmond: Thanks Robert I really appreciate your text Will call your office tomorrow to arrange Very best Richard

Robert Jenrick: I'd like that. See you soon. Robert

20 November 2019

Richard Desmond: Your efficient PA [name redacted] has arranged a meeting for 19th December at 10.30am for meet and site visit. Good news finally the inspectors reports have gone to you today, we appreciate the speed as we don't want to give Marxists loads of doe for nothing! We all want to go with the scheme and the social housing we have proposed and spent a month at the Marxist town hall debating, thanks again, all my best Richard

Robert Jenrick: Richard. As Secretary of State it is important not to give any appearance of being influenced by applicants of cases that I may have a role in or to have predetermined them and so I think it is best that we don't meet until after the matter has been decided, one way of [sic] another ‐ and I can't provide any advice to you on that, other than to say that I will receive advice from my officials after the general election assuming I remain in office and will consider it carefully in accordance with the rules and guidance. I hope that is okay and we can meet to discuss other matters soon, hopefully on the 19th. Robert

Richard Desmond: Robert Absolutely understood Look forward to meeting on 19th to celebrate the big majority Best Richard

13 December 2019

Richard Desmond: Robert, fantastic day today! So happy and relieved as the whole country is. Well done for keeping calm. Looking forward to next Thursday. Are you coming here to our offices at 10.30 am and then we'll all go down to Westferry together? Do you need transport? Please let me know as soon as. Best Richard

15 December 2019

Robert Jenrick: Thanks Richard. I'm afraid Thursday doesn't work for me now as I am likely to be at the Queens Speech in Parliament. However we will meet up soon. And I will look at the advice regarding the application this week. Best wishes Robert

Richard Desmond: Thanks Robert speak before Xmas? Best Richard

23 December 2019

Richard Desmond: Morning Robert How does the advice look? We have to get the approval before January 15 otherwise payment of 45 million pounds to tower hamlets meaning we have to stop and reduce social housing Thanks Robert look forward to speaking soon Best Richard

22 January 2020

Robert Jenrick: Richard I hope you understood that I could not speak with you or have contact whilst I was making my decision with respect to the planning application at Westferry ‐ which was why I did not return your messages. Best wishes Robert

Richard Desmond: Robert I totally understand why we could not have contact with you or your department while you were making the decision. I have now pushed the button on a further £600 million investment at the development as a result of the decision, enabling the social housing and market housing to more than double together with the delivery of the magnificent new school etc etc. This will create thousands of new jobs pretty much straight away ‐ as we are 'on it' and don't hang around!!! Now we are moving ahead would you like to visit the site in March? Best Wishes Richard

24 January 2020

Robert Jenrick: I would be happy to visit and see progress as it develops. Best wishes Robert

Richard Desmond: Great have a nice weekend best Richard

At the end of the transcript, the government adds: "No further communication and no visit was arranged or took place. Mr Desmond attempted to call the Secretary of State on a number of occasions, but the Secretary of State did not take his calls."