U.K.’s Boris Johnson Didn’t Break Rules Over Luxury Trip to Mustique
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not breach parliamentary rules over the declaration of his luxury holiday to Mustique, the committee on standards found.
The premier and his partner -- now wife -- traveled to the Caribbean island over the New Year in 2020 and have since faced months of questions over whether Johnson properly registered payments toward the trip.
The standards committee, made up of members of parliament and lay members, said Thursday that his register entry was “accurate and complete” and he did not breach paragraph 14 of the MPs’ code of conduct.
It overruled the findings of parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone who said he did breach those rules because he did not “make sufficient inquiries to establish the full facts about the funding arrangements for his free accommodation.”
But the committee did criticize Johnson for failing to come clean with the authorities earlier, saying it was “regrettable that a full account and explanation of the funding arrangements” only came to light as a result of its own enquiries.
It said that given Johnson had previously been twice reprimanded by the standards committee for “an over-casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the House”, it would have “expected him to go the extra mile to ensure there was no uncertainty about the arrangements.”
Johnson said he had not seen the conclusion of the report, “but as I understand it, the committee has found there was no case to answer.”
Under Parliamentary rules, MPs are required to register in a public report significant donations and gifts, including foreign visits which have not been paid for entirely from their own funds or by the government.
Johnson last year registered Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross as having given him 15,000 pounds ($21,000) worth of “accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me.”
Ross at first said he hadn’t paid for the holiday but later clarified that the register was accurate and that he had “facilitated accommodation.” The main opposition party, Labour, then wrote to Stone requesting an investigation.
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