ENTREPRENEUR and businessman Sir James Dyson has issued a withering attack against the BBC for 'political mudslinging' and 'twisting' of information. 

The inventor was described by the broadaster as a 'prominent Conservative supporter' when it revealed text messages between Sir James and Boris Johnson at the start of the pandemic.

The messages showed Boris Johnson agreeing to "fix" a problem with tax arrangements, which then prompted outcry from political oppoinents. 

Sir James had been working on the development of ventilators for the UK in the event that supply would run out, and was asking the Prime Minister for assurances that his employees would not be slapped with additional taxes if they came to the UK from the firm's base in Singapore to work on the project. 

The ventilators were never needed, and Dyson says it lost £20m of its own money in the project.

Since the BBC broke the story in April, Sir James has said he was not a prominent Conservative party supporter, and his lifetime political party donations amounted to £800.

He has spoken at two political party conferences - one for the Conservatives and one for Labour - and his company say the claims he was a prominent Tory supporter are not supported by facts. 

The 'prominent supporter' claim stems from a £11,450 donation that was made by the James Dyson Foundation to the Wiltshire Engineering Festival. The festival, which ran in 2016 and 2017, was being organised by Conservative MP Michelle Donelan but it was a careers event for school children, not a political party event.

The BBC has issued an apology today, correcting their initial reports about the text messages between Sir James and Boris Johnson. 

Their apology states: "We accept that Sir James Dyson is not a prominent Conservative supporter as was stated in some of our coverage of his text messages with the Prime Minister.

"The James Dyson Foundation made a charitable gift to support the Wiltshire Engineering Festival for school children.

"We accept that this does not signal affiliation to any political party and we would like to put the record straight.

"Sir James also raised concerns about the accuracy of other aspects of our reporting.

"We wish to make clear that Sir James contacted Number 10 in response to the Prime Minister’s direct request to him for assistance in relation to the urgent need for ventilators and incurred costs of £20m which his company voluntarily absorbed in trying to assist in the national emergency.

"His text messages to the Prime Minister were also later sent to officials. We are sorry that these facts were not always reflected in our coverage, and we apologise for not doing so."

Sir James lashed out at the broadcaster following their correction, saying their reporting was deliberately misleading.

He said: "The BBC now acknowledges that it was wrong and has issued an apology – which I accept.

"To justify its claim that I am a “prominent Conservative supporter” the BBC shamefully twisted our charitable gift to school children to suit their political narrative.

"The Prime Minister asked Dyson to help at a time of crisis, in the national interest, and we did just that. We dropped everything and focused on the national effort.

"Far from any gain, the project cost us £20m - a sum we voluntarily bore. I am proud of the efforts of every Dyson person who contributed and we would do precisely the same again. 

"It was deeply disappointing, for me and for the hundreds of Dyson people who gave it their all, to have our efforts developing an emergency ventilator mischaracterised and used for political mudslinging.”