Boris Johnson Faces Investigation Over Overseas Trip Rules
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being investigated by the U.K. Parliament’s standards regulator amid claims he may have broken the rules on declaring a luxury holiday to the Caribbean.
The premier and his partner traveled to the island of Mustique over the New Year in 2020 and questions have been raised in the British media over whether he properly registered payments toward the trip.
Now Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, has confirmed she’s formally investigating whether Johnson broke the rules over the holiday. The premier’s office said he followed the rules.
Johnson is already facing a series of inquiries into whether he has broken rules, with a number of them focusing on how he funded a lavish refurbishment of his official Downing Street apartment.
The main opposition Labour party has repeatedly attacked Johnson over these arrangements. Yet voters don’t seem to care. In last week’s elections Johnson’s Conservatives performed better than expected while Labour slipped up.
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.
Following the Rules
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.” Labour then wrote to Stone requesting an investigation.
Johnson’s spokesman, Max Blain, told reporters on Monday that it’s “important” for everyone to follow the rules, and that the premier has done so “throughout.”
“The rules and regulations apply to everyone, and the prime minister has transparently declared this specific benefit in kind in the Commons Register of Interests,” Blain said.
Labour seized on the new probe to attack the prime minister.
“Another day, another investigation into Boris Johnson for more sleaze and dodgy dealings,” Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said on Monday. “The public have a right to know who paid for Boris Johnson’s luxury Caribbean holiday and the renovation of his flat. Most importantly, we need to know what these donors were promised or expected in return for their generosity.”
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