Labour has called on Boris Johnson to “come clean” on the cost of his luxury holiday in the Caribbean, after claims that it was worth more than double the £15,000 he declared in the Commons register of interests.
Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, is said to have questioned the declared cost of the trip to Mustique with fiancee Carrie Symonds in December 2019.
And she has also said the bill was not met by Tory donor David Ross, as the prime minister insisted, according to theDaily Mail.
The revelation will heap further pressure on Mr Johnson as he faces various investigations into whether he properly declared any donations to cover the lavish refurbishments of his official flat.
Downing Street insisted the PM “transparently declared the benefit in kind” of the luxury Caribbean holiday, and noted that Mr Ross confirmed the declaration is “correct”.
But Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “The prime minister should just come clean with the British people. The public have a right to know who paid for his luxury holiday, how much they paid for it and what they might expect in return for their generosity.
“If these reports are true, the prime minister will once again have shown his complete contempt for the basic standards of integrity in office.
“The prime minister has already broken parliamentary rules regarding his financial interests. It is clear that he thinks that the rules that apply to the rest of us simply do not apply to him.”
The parliamentary commissioner for standards confirmed this week she is still investigating whether Mr Johnson properly declared the holiday on the private island 16 months ago.
In the Register of Members’ Interests, the prime minister declared the trip with fiancee Carrie Symonds as a “benefit in kind” from Carphone Warehouse founder Mr Ross, who has a villa on the island.
But the Daily Mail reported that Ms Stone believes the break was worth more than twice the declared £15,000.
Mr Johnson was said to have refused to accept the ruling and is trying to have it overturned to avoid the risk of being suspended as an MP.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The PM transparently declared the benefit in kind in the Commons Register of Interests. The Cabinet Office was aware of the declaration and was content it was appropriate.
“A spokesman for Mr Ross confirmed the PM’s declaration is correct and the accommodation was facilitated as a donation in kind.”
This week, a spokesperson for Mr Ross said in a statement: “Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.
“Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson’s declaration to the House of Commons is correct.”
Additional reporting by Press Association
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies