Boris Johnson’s luxurious holiday to the Caribbean was worth more than double the £15,000 he declared in the Commons register, Parliament’s standards watchdog has said.
Kathryn Stone, the commissioner for standards, also said the bill had not been met by Tory donor David Ross as the Prime Minister has insisted, according to the Daily Mail.
Downing Street has insisted that Mr Johnson “transparently declared the benefit in kind” of the trip to the island of Mustique, and noted that Mr Ross confirmed the declaration is “correct”.
A spokesman for Mr Ross said in a statement this week: “Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.
“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.”
‘More than double the amount declared’
Ms Stone confirmed this week that she is still investigating whether the Prime Minister properly declared the holiday on the private island 16 months ago.
In the Register of Members’ Interests, Mr Johnson declared the trip with fiancee Carrie Symonds as a “benefit in kind” from the Carphone Warehouse founder, who has a villa on the island.
However, the Daily Mail has reported that Ms Stone believes the holiday was actually worth more than twice the £15,000 that was declared.
Mr Johnson is said to have refused to accept the ruling and is trying to have it overturned to avoid the risk of being suspended as an MP.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The PM transparently declared the benefit in kind in the Commons Register of Interests.
“The Cabinet Office was aware of the declaration and was content it was appropriate.
“A spokesman for Mr Ross confirmed the PM’s declaration is correct and the accommodation was facilitated as a donation in kind.”
The revelation will add further pressure on the Prime Minister as he faces various investigations into whether he properly declared any donations to cover the lavish refurbishments of his Downing Street flat.
Boris Johnson and his fiance Carrie Symonds live in the four-bedroom apartment above Number 11 Downing Street, which has recently undergone renovations thought to be worth up to £200,000.
Former Prime Minister’s Tony Blair and David Cameron both carried out renovations on the property during their time in office, using the £30,000 grant afforded to Prime Minister’s for this purpose, plus their own money.
However, reports have suggested that the works commissioned by Mr Johnson and his fiancee were significantly more expensive.
The government maintains that the refurb was paid for by Mr Johnson himself, although a leaked email suggests at least some of the money came from Tory donors.
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