Boris Johnson should 'fess up' over who paid for holiday, Labour say

Clay Curtis
February 16, 2020

The Prime Minister, before becoming Tory leader, was forced to apologise in 2019 after not properly declaring his expenses.

According to the MPs' register of interests, the accommodation - which cost £15,000 - was covered by David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.

The Prime Minister has listed a Mr David Ross as the name of the person who funded his accommodation.

Ross has also been a long-standing donor to the Conservative Party, pledging 250,000 pounds in the last election campaign.

The opposition Labour Party has called for an official investigation into who paid for Johnson's trip, and whether the prime minister falsely declared it.

The prime minister's team had carefully choreographed the reshuffle, presenting it as an opportunity to foster new talent, particularly among women, while also rewarding loyal supporters to deliver his vision for Britain beyond Brexit.

"Transparency is crucial to ensuring that the public have confidence that elected members of this House have not been unduly influenced by any donations or gifts that they may receive".

"For this reason, I request that you to investigate whether the Prime Minister has followed all transparency requirements when registering the donation".

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Mr Ross reportedly had other guests staying at his own house on the same island at the same time. "Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson and Mr Johnson's declaration to the House of Commons is correct".

Under the heading "nature and value of benefit in kind (or amount of any donation)", Johnson's entry in the register stated: "Accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000".

Ross later clarified in a statement that he "facilitated accommodation for Mr. Johnson on Mustique valued at 15,000 pounds".

The register also shows earnings Mr Johnson received past year before becoming PM, including more than £327,000 for seven speaking engagements, one of which was a three-hour speech where he was paid £122,899.74.

Mr Johnson faced criticism at the time of his break for failing to cut his festive break short after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by a USA air strike on 3 January.

Johnson's trip to the Carribean was controversial at the time as he was accused of failing to return to the United Kingdom quickly enough to respond to an escalation in tensions between British ally the U.S. and Iran.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry accused Mr Johnson of "sunning himself" while leaving cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill to chair three emergency Cobra meetings amid growing tensions following the killing.

"If he fails to do so, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should step in and make him fess up".

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