2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves London’s Downing Street 2/2
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally covered the cost of remodeling his Downing Street flat, said a minister, seeking to quash claims by Johnson’s former senior adviser that the prime minister had planned to donors will pay it in secret. “What I know is that the prime minister has personally paid the costs of the refurbishment of the flat and that is what people in Britain want to know,” Liz Truss, Britain’s trade minister, told BBC television on Sunday. . Dominic Cummings, who was Johnson’s key adviser on the Brexit campaign and helped him win an election in 2019 before a raid last year, said Friday that Johnson wanted donors to secretly pay for the renewal and told him to the prime minister that the plans were “unethical, silly, possibly illegal.” Johnson’s office has said the government had followed the rules on the remodel. But the opposition Labor Party is calling for an investigation into how Johnson financed the remodel. He also wants a broader independent commission to investigate ethics and standards in government after a lobbying scandal involving former leader David Cameron, who tried to get ministers to help the now-failed financial firm Greensill Capital. Truss declined to comment Sunday when asked if a donor initially paid for the Downing Street apartment remodel and Johnson later paid the donor. “What I agree with is that the prime minister has covered the costs, that everything will be declared in accordance (with the rules), even for tax purposes,” he said. British newspapers said Sunday that Johnson’s current advisers were concerned that Cummings would make more damaging accusations when he speaks to parliament next month about the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.