UK's Johnson paid for apartment refurbishment himself, minister says

Tanya Simon
April 26, 2021

Labour have called for an independent inquiry following a series of astonishing allegations from Boris Johnson's former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings.

A report in the Sunday Times says that Cummings will use an upcoming appearance in front of a parliamentary committee to implicate Johnson in the UK's death toll.

Two cabinet ministers, defence secretary Ben Wallace and worldwide trade secretary Liz Truss, have now gone on the record as saying Johnson paid for the work out of his own pocket. "If that person has made those comments they are indefensible, but the Prime Minister has been very clear he didn't make those comments".

On Saturday, Britain's opposition Labour Party demanded an investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent refurbishment of his Downing Street flat and how it was funded.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the matter was about "integrity" and "taxpayers' money". According to the Daily Mail, which writes the story as coming from "a source", the prime minister allegedly told colleagues during a meeting in No. 10 in October a year ago: "No more ****ing lockdowns - let the bodies pile high in their thousands".

Mr Wallace told Sky News: "We are getting into the sort of comedy chapter now of these gossip stories - unnamed sources, by unnamed advisers talking about unnamed events". "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".

He also said the prime minister and his office had fallen below acceptable standards of competence and integrity.

Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals
Australia's move is another unreasonable and provocative action taken by the Australian side against China, the statement added. The country's position was expressed in a statement by a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Australia on Wednesday.

The Electoral Commission, which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the United Kingdom, has said it is still seeking answers from the Conservative Party over whether any sums should have been declared under the law on political donations.

Asked Friday by Britain's LBC radio station if he had tried to block the leak inquiry, the prime minister replied, "No, of course not".

Cummings, who along with Johnson played a key role in the successful 2016 campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, resigned his job at Downing Street in November.

On Friday, Johnson's office said the government had followed the rules over the apartment renovation and that the prime minister had not interfered in a government leak inquiry. He had become an increasingly controversial figure within the corridors of power, especially after he drove 400 kilometres to his parents' house in Durham, northeast England, at the end of March 2020 while the country was under a "stay-at-home" lockdown order.

The claim by Mr Cummings was part of a wide-ranging attack after No 10 sources briefed newspapers the former aide was the source of a number of damaging leaks - including text messages exchanged between the Prime Minister and the entrepreneur Sir James Dyson over tax matters.

Rows involving lobbying by former prime minister David Cameron on behalf of Greensill, the revolving door between business and government, and claims that lucrative contracts were awarded to firms during the pandemic without proper scrutiny have deflected attention from the country's vaccination progress.

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