Lyca pulls Johnson event after Tory donations revealed


Event featuring mayoral candidate Boris Johnson shelved by Lycamobile just hours after it became aware of newspaper investigation into Tory donations

An event at mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile at which mayor Boris Johnson was due to appear was postponed, and later cancelled, just hours after the firm became aware that the Guardian was preparing to report on its donations to the Conservative party.

Johnson was due to attend the event at on Monday April 23 at the Canary Wharf HQ of Lyca, which sells SIM cards offering cheap international calling on mobile phones.

It is understood that Lyca became aware of the Guardian’s interest in the donations on the morning of Friday April 20.

Later that morning, Lyca informed members of the press preparing to attend Monday’s event that it had been postponed by a day until Tuesday April 24.

However, the event was later called off entirely.

On Monday evening, the Guardian ran a critical story revealing the firm was at the time the Conservatives’ third largest donor, depite paying no corporation tax over the last three years due to its failure to make a profit.

Lyca had billed the event as being attended by “two influential political and social figures representative of Britain in today’s environment”, but had refused to name either person.

The Back Boris Campaign said that schedules during the campaign changed all the time and there was nothing unusual about Johnson pulling out of the event.

Lyca has refused to comment on the event or reports on the donations and the identity of the second guest remains unknown.

The Guardian has since reported that Johnson has used Lyca’s offices to carry out telephone canvassing on five occasions.

An earlier report by the paper on April 23 revealed that Lyca had made large donations to the Conservative party over the last two quarters, and that the firm was in danger of being dissolved by Companies House for being late filing its accounts.