Boris Johnson is facing the threat of a new inquiry into the excessive overhaul of his Downing Street flat by the Commons sleaze watchdog he’s tried to undermine.
The Prime Minister was forced to dismiss claims that his botched attempt to overhaul the standards process had been a pre-emptive strike on Kathryn Stone.
Cabinet minister Kwasi Kwarteng suggested the parliamentary standards commissioner’s position was untenable in the wake of the row over Owen Paterson.
Now it can be revealed that the Prime Minister himself stands to be investigated by Kathryn Stone.
A newspaper outlet understands that the commissioner will decide on whether to launch an inquiry into the funding of the refurbishment as soon as a separate probe being conducted by the Electoral Commission has been completed.
The Commission has handed over its initial findings to Tory party chiefs who now have an opportunity to respond.
Tory donor Lord Brownlow paid an invoice to cover some of the costs for the works, effectively giving Boris Johnson a loan, before the Prime Minister finally settled the bill himself. However, this was not declared until after a newspaper outlet published a series of exposes. Eco-friendly interior designer Lulu Lytle was hired to transform the flat with gold wallpaper costing as much as £840 a roll.
Lord Geidt, the ministerial standards adviser, earlier this year found that Boris Johnson hadn’t breached the ministerial code but acted impulsively in allowing the refurbishment to go ahead without more rigorous regard for how this would be financed.
The Electoral Commission is carrying out a separate investigation into whether donations to the party were properly declared.
An inquiry by Kathryn Stone would be the third inquiry into the matter if she goes ahead. Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner requested in June that she investigate. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former chief aide, alleged in a tweet that the Government’s attempt to change the standards process to spare Mr Paterson from being punished was a pre-emptive strike by the Prime Minister on the EC (Electoral Commission) and Kathryn Stone.
But No 10 denied the planned overhaul had been designed to protect Boris Johnson’s interests. The Prime Minister has frequently clashed with Parliament’s sleaze watchdogs, and in July, he was criticised for failing to disclose how a £15,000 holiday to Mustique was paid for.
He was also found by Kathryn Stone to have breached the code of conduct over the 2020 New York break but escaped with a slap on the wrist as the committee on standards overruled her, and in this COVID era, it appears that the Government have given themselves unprecedented powers and it’s gone to their heads, and they genuinely believe that they can get away with anything right now, but then this is the type of Government that some people voted for, and it now appears that we have a bent Government and they must be driven out.
Boris Johnson was a Bullingdon Boy. He’s full of self-entitlement and indignation. He’s most elite, detached from reality and a chancer in his profession and his personal life.
Educated to the highest standard but sadly for the country that high standard was way above his capacity to learn, and he has to go – the whole Tory Government has to go because we desperately need new leadership and honesty and that can’t be found in the Tory Party, but can it be found in any party that people vote for and what a sorry state of affairs it is when all parties are much of a muchness?