Conservative election adviser Lynton Crosby today denied that he has had "any conversation or discussion" with Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue of plain packaging of cigarettes.
Crosby, whose lobbying firm is reported to have worked for tobacco giant Philip Morris, said that any suggestion that he had used his position as an adviser improperly was "simply false".
Labour leader Ed Miliband last night accused Cameron of "bringing big tobacco to the heart of Downing Street" by hiring the Australian polls guru as an adviser shortly before ditching plans for standardised cigarette packages.
But in a statement issued today by his company CTF Partners, Crosby said: "The Prime Minister has repeatedly and clearly said that I have never lobbied him on anything, including on the issue of tobacco or plain packaging of cigarettes.
"What the PM said should be enough for any ordinary person but to avoid any doubt or speculation let me be clear. At no time have I had any conversation or discussion with or lobbied the Prime Minister, or indeed the Health Secretary or the health minister, on plain packaging or tobacco issues.
"Indeed, any claim that I have sought to improperly use my position as part-time campaign adviser to the Conservative Party is simply false."