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UK Johnson's tax reassurance to James Dyson warranted by COVID emergency - minister

·1-min read
Britain's PM Johnson holds a news conference, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's text to tech boss James Dyson saying he would "fix" tax issues for Dyson workers developing ventilators was warranted by the emergency facing the country in the pandemic, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said.

The BBC reported that Dyson had asked the finance ministry for no change in tax status for his staff coming to Britain to work on the emergency project. He also contacted Johnson directly, who replied: "I will fix it", the BBC said.

"We were in the middle of a national emergency and the prime minister was doing this not for his own gain, James Dyson wasn't doing this for his own gain, we were doing it in order to ensure that we got these ventilators rapidly in order to ensure that we dealt with a national emergency and it was a temporary measure," Dowden told BBC TV on Wednesday.

"This measure went before parliament in the proper transparent way."

(Reporting by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)