Published: Mon, April 26, 2021
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UK's Boris Johnson paid for apartment refurbishment himself, minister says

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

"If that person has made those comments they are indefensible, but the Prime Minister has been very clear he didn't make those comments".

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.

Senior minister Liz Truss defended Johnson on Sunday, telling broadcasters that Cummings' claims were "tittle-tattle" and the premier had always "acted in the interests of this country".

In his blog post, Mr Cummings also accused Mr Johnson of seeking to stop an inquiry into the leak of plans for a second coronavirus lockdown after he was warned it could implicate Henry Newman, a close friend of his fiancee.

However officials familiar with the investigation said that it had neither "landed" on any one individual or exonerated anyone.

The disclosure is likely to further anger Mr Cummings, who released his onslaught after he was accused by No 10 of a series of damaging leaks, including text message exchanges between Mr Johnson and the entrepreneur Sir James Dyson.

Mr Cummings is widely known to have been critical of Mr Johnson's delay in launching a second lockdown in England when cases began rising last autumn, and there is speculation he will seek to blame him for the high death toll. 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 past year: "No more ****ing lockdowns - let the bodies pile high in their thousands". "Frankly, it stinks." Starmer told the BBC on Saturday.

"None of this is serious".

Ms Dorries said it was "mendacious, vexatious, co-ordinated gossip" aimed at destabilising the Tory campaign ahead of the May 6 elections.

On Friday, the Prime Minister denied trying to block the leak inquiry, saying the public could not "give a monkey's" about such matters.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did personally pay for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, a senior minister said on Sunday.

Asked about the allegations, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Mr Johnson had paid "out of his own pocket" for the Downing Street upgrade.

A Whitehall source yesterday said officials did not know the full extent of the material Mr Cummings has.

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.

A commission spokeswoman said: "Discussions with the Conservative Party continue as we work to establish whether any sums relating to the works at 11 Downing Street fall within the regime regulated by the commission, and therefore need to be reported and subsequently published".

"What I know is the prime minister has personally met the cost of the flat refurbishment".

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