Inside Politics: Johnson facing cash for access claims over flat redecoration

PM given serious dressing down by his own ethics adviser, as secret Whatsapp messages published in full show he told peer he was ‘on great exhibition plan’ while asking for money for flat, writes Matt Mathers

Friday 07 January 2022 08:53
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<p>Boris Johnson is facing new questions over his apparent support for a ‘great exhibition’ plan backed by a Tory donor who helped pay for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat (Stefan Rousseau/PA)</p>

Boris Johnson is facing new questions over his apparent support for a ‘great exhibition’ plan backed by a Tory donor who helped pay for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The holidays are well and truly over for Boris Johnson, who wakes up this morning to yet more damaging headlines about the lavish redecoration of his Downing Street flat. It is nearly a year since reports of “wallpapergate” first began to emerge and the story looks like it is going nowhere fast, after messages published in full by the Electoral Commission yesterday cast further doubt on claims by the PM that he knew nothing about the funding of the expensive refurb, the cost of which exceeded £100,000 and was initially paid by the Tory peer, Lord Brownlow. The secret Whatsapp exchanges also appear to show Johnson giving his backing to Brownlow’s plans for an exhibition after asking him for money to sort out his “tip” of a flat, leaving him open to allegations of cash for access. Elsewhere, reports say the over 65s could be hit hardest by the looming cost of living squeeze and the PM has hit out at anti-vaxxers.

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