Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer clashed in a fiery exchange on Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (28 April), as the Labour leader focussed his question on the allegations that Conservative funds were used to pay for the flat refurbishment.
Mr Johnson insisted throughout that he has covered the costs of the refurb personally, but the wording of Starmer’s questions and the PM’s answers leaves open the possibility that the works were initially paid for by someone else.
Mr Johnson is the latest Prime Minister to choose the flat above Number 11 Downing Street, which is larger than the one above Number 10, as his residence.
Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron both carried out renovations on the property while they were in office, using the £30,000 grant afforded to Prime Ministers for this purpose.
However, reports suggest that the works commissioned by Johnson and his fiance have been significantly more expensive, with estimates of up to £200,000.
Arlene Foster resignation
We also cover the resignation of DUP leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, who will leave her role on 28 May.
Mrs Foster is stepping down as party leader on 28 May after a no confidence motion, and as First Minister at the end of June.
The announcement comes 24 hours after an sizeable internal heave against her by DUP politicians unhappy with her leadership.
The 50-year-old Fermanagh and South Tyrone representative indicated her resignation will mark the end of her political career, as she said she was preparing to “depart the political stage”.
Covid passport app
We also report on the announcement of a new Covid vaccine passport app that will be used to facilitate safe travel.
The UK government has said that the NHS app, which is currently used to book general healthcare appointments, will be used as a Covid travel passport this year.
The app will allow travellers to show proof of a coronavirus vaccination, or a negative test, before departing the UK.
The government has clarified that the app that will be used for travel will not be the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app which is used for people to be able to ‘check-in’ to pubs, bars and restaurants.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced that the countries which will be on the UK’s “green list” for travel will be announced “in the next couple of weeks”.
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