Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party leader, was further undermined by the revelation that his own sleaze agent could leave after the Prime Minister was accused of telling lies about the extravagant makeover of Downing Street.        

A report by the official said that the Prime Minster had asked Lord Brownlow (a Tory donor) for additional cash in an attempt to get more funds than last year.

But Mr Johnson previously assured Lord Geidt, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, that he did not know who was paying for the £112,549 refurbishment – which was ordered by his wife Carrie Johnson – at the time.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s shocking findings by The Electoral Commission, he could face another investigation into the ‘Wallpapergate’ scandal.

The commission fined the Conservative Party £17,800 for breaking political finance law over the saga.

Downing Street insists Mr Johnson did not lie to his advisor and says: ‘The Prime Minster has acted in conformity with all rules. He acted after discussions with Lord Geidt. He made all required declarations.

Last night, however, there was word that Lord Geidt might resign over accusations the PM had misled him.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Johnson could dismiss the standards adviser as quickly as today if he does not provide satisfactory explanations for why Johnson did not share his vital information.

Dominic Cummings (his former right-handman) also placed new pressure on the PM. He was present in Downing Street at the time that the redecoration work was being done for No 11’s living quarters.

Twitter user charles scriven that he had spoken to the PM “in very blunt and unrepeatable language” in January 2019 and Summer 2020 about his desire for secret donations, which he claimed was unethical and illegal. 

Cummings stated that he pursued the matter throughout the year, trying to keep me/others ignorant and lying to Geidt/CCHQ [Conservative Party headquarters]To cover it up.

“I have said it repeatedly over the months: a. PM has lied to Geidt; b. Geidt can only draw such a conclusion by not interviewing anyone actually associated with the flat!”

Sir Keir starmer, Labour leader took to Twitter too to criticize the PM. He called him unfit to lead. 

These new revelations further plunge the PM into crisis. This comes after the Government of Prime Minister David Cameron was shocked by the news that an “illegal” Christmas Party had been held in Downing Street last year, while the capital was under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

If he is found lying about his party, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives stated that he will have to quit. 

The Tory backbenchers are also likely to wage war against him, at least 50 of whom will be furious that he imposed Plan B to fight the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The beleaguered PM was further harmed by two polls that showed how popular the Conservatives had fallen in recent days. One of the polls indicated how Labour has a 6-point advantage. 

Boris Johnson's leadership of the Conservative Party and the country was plunged further into crisis last night as it emerged that his own sleaze tsar could quit after the PM was accused of lying to him about the lavish makeover of the Downing Street flat. Mr Johnson previously assured Lord Geidt, the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests, that he did not know who was paying for the £112,549 refurbishment - which was ordered by his wife Carrie Johnson (pictured with the PM in June) - at the time

Boris Johnson was the Conservative Party’s leader and was further thrown into crisis by revelations that his own sleaze-tsar may be leaving after the PM was charged with lying about the extravagant makeover of Downing Street. Mr Johnson previously assured Lord Geidt, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, that he did not know who was paying for the £112,549 refurbishment – which was ordered by his wife Carrie Johnson (pictured with the PM at the G7 summit in June) – at the time

The Electoral Commission fined the Conservatives £17,800 for failing to properly declare almost £68,000 mostly used to pay for the refurbishment of the private quarters used by Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and their son Wilfred. Above: The flat was designed by Lulu Lyttle in a similar style to the above

The Electoral Commission fined the Conservatives £17,800 for failing to properly declare almost £68,000 mostly used to pay for the refurbishment of the private quarters used by Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and their son Wilfred. Above: Lulu Lyttle designed this flat in the same style as the previous. 

There were reports last night that Lord Geidt is on the brink of resigning over claims the PM misled him

Last night, reports surfaced that Lord Geidt was on the verge of resignation over allegations that the PM had misled him

The newspaper published a story in February about how Carrie Johnson, Mr Johnson’s spouse, plotted against Carrie Whitehall officials who would not sign off on a huge taxpayers bill she had to pay for refurbishment work at Downing Street Flat.

What happened in the  ‘Wallpapergate’ scandal?

How much work were you able to do?

interior designer Lulu Lytle transformed the living quarters from what the PM’s wife Carrie reportedly felt was a ‘John Lewis furniture nightmare’ left behind by Theresa May. The new look included gold wallpaper costing £840 a roll.

What was the cost of it?

The designer was paid £112,549.12.

It was paid for by who?

Initialy, the Cabinet Office paid the bill. But because it was significantly above the £30,000 annual public grant for work to the flat, officials set up a charitable trust for donations to cover the costs. 

The Tory party successfully repaid Lord Brownlow (then Tory donor) and Trust Chairman, who made both a donation and paid some money directly to his supplier. In the end, the Prime Minister paid the designer.

Was this in violation of any laws?

According to the Electoral Commission, the Conservative Party failed to report most of Lord Brownlow’s money as a donation.

What about the PM’s role?

Lord Geidt, a sleaze watchdog cleared him of violating the ministerial codes. He claimed that he had no knowledge about complex financing arrangements prior to February. 

This was questioned by the Electoral Commission, which found evidence Mr Johnson had asked Lord Brownlow for money in November.

Next, what’s the next step?

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone may choose to investigate Mr Johnson for breaking the MPs’ Code of Conduct by failing to declare donations.

The Mail revealed that secret schemes were being devised to convince Tory donors to fund the interior design by Lulu Lytle. The PM had privately expressed concern about the price of the gold wallpaper Mrs Johnson was purchasing. The scheme also included the establishment of a trust charitable for maintaining the Downing Street historic buildings. It was chaired by Lord Brownlow (Tory donor).

Simon Case, Cabinet Secretary, learned about the scandal through this newspaper. He began to investigate and sent his findings to Lord Geidt, ministerial watchdog.

In May, Lord Geidt exonerated the PM from violating the ministerial Code. He only stated that he had “unwisely” allowed refurbishment at No. 11 Downing Street to continue without more careful consideration for how the funds would be used.

Johnson told him that he didn’t know anything about these payments until shortly before media reports of February 2021.

However, a separate investigation done by the Electoral Commission revealed evidence that, on November 29, 2019, the PM’mested Lord Brownlow via WhatsApp, asking him for authorization to continue, but unspecified, renovations on his residence.

The report provides the most detailed account yet of the complex web of payments, totalling £112,549.12, involved in doing up the flat.

Invoices were paid initially by the Cabinet Office. CCHQ then repaid the money and Lord Brownlow’s firm Huntswood Associates donated to the party. The mess was finally cleared up when Mr Johnson paid the invoice directly to the designer.

The Electoral Commission found that the majority of the £67,801 given to the Tories by Lord Brownlow’s firm last October should have been reported as a donation, but was not.

For failing to report accurately the total value of the donation and for violating the obligation to maintain proper accounting records, the party was penalized.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘The Prime Minister must now explain why he lied to the British public saying he didn’t know who was behind No 11 flat refurb – all the while he was WhatsApping the donor asking for more money.

“He has not only violated the law, but also made mockery of what we expect from prime ministers.”

Kathryn Stone has been contacted by the Parliamentary Commissioner to Standards.

The office of the watchdog declined to comment.

According to a spokesperson from CCHQ, the organization has been in constant communication with the Electoral Commission. They have provided their opinion on the reporting of the transaction. We’re considering appealing.      

The previous investigation by Lord Geidt cleared Mr Johnson. Lord Brownlow had not informed the Prime Minister that he personally had paid the entire cost. 

Yesterday, Mr Cummings tweeted that Geidt had been ‘obviously misled’ by the PM. 

Downing Street insists yesterday that the PM knew Lord Brownlow was the trustee of a blind trust used for funding the flat renovation.

According to Mr Johnson’s press spokesperson, he did not inform reporters that the PM knew the details of the donor until February media reports. 

The Commission’s Thursday report noted, however that the trust was not set up at the time of the November meeting. 

A tired looking Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street to return to hospital to be with Carrie and their new daughter

A commission investigation revealed that party compliance systems had failed to adequately record decisions regarding the recording and handling of donations.

The PM's wife Carrie gave birth to a daughter, the couple's second child, this morning. Mr Johnson is pictured at the hospital

Carrie Johnson, the wife of the Prime Minister, was today a mother to a second child. Pictured at the hospital is Mr Johnson

Boris’s Flat Story: A Timeline

January 2020One month after the 2019 election, plans are submitted to renovate the No11 apartment.

February 2020 Officials decide to set up a blind trust to fund the six-figure  renovation. To prevent corruption, the system ensures that the beneficiaries are not informed about the origin of the funds.

April 2020Lord Brownlow agrees to establish and chair the trust.

June/July 2020: The Cabinet Office, which is responsible for the Downing Street estate, pays three invoices totalling £52,801.72 for work carried out, and then bills the Conservative Party.

August 2020The bill is paid for by the Conservative Party. 

October 2020Lord Brownlow then emails the party to ask how much the bill would be. He promises to make a contribution. He does so.

November 29, 2020Boris Johnson calls Lord Brownlow via WhatsApp, ‘asking for his authorization to authorize further, unspecified refurbishment work’. Lord Brownlow agrees, explaining that the Downing Street Trust had not been established. 

December 18, 2020 Lord Brownlow donates a further £33,484.80 to the firm refurbishing the flat.

February 2021 Lord Brownlow donates a further £13,295.30 to the firm refurbishing the flat, taking his total contribution to £112, 549.12

March 20, 2121 Daily Mail exposes the cost and method of financing the renovations. Boris Johnson personally repays the supplier and then the company reimburses Lord Brownlow.

April 2021 Ministerial Standards watchdog Lord Geidt clears the PM of wrongdoing. He says officials assured him that  Mr Johnson was not aware that Lord Brownlow paid for the work personally until it was revealed in the media. He also received the exact same information directly from the PM.

December 2021 The Electoral Commission fines the Conservatives Party £17,800 for failing to declare Lord Brownlow’s original donation. He was notified that he had received WhatsApp messages from the PM about money.


It found that the Conservative Party failed to ‘fully report’ a donation of £67,801.72 from Brownlow made in October 2020, of which £52,801 which was connected to the refurbishment of the 11 Downing Street flat where Boris Johnson lives.

The probe found that when the payment was flagged by a junior member of Conservative staff, they were told the cash was for ‘something else’ and ‘don’t worry’. 

The PM also begged Lord Brownlow via Whatsapp for additional cash just weeks after making his first donation. 

It is likely that the results of this investigation will lead to another probe by Kathryn Stone, Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. 

In an investigation by the commission, it was found that the decisions made regarding recording and handling the donation were indicative of’serious failures in party’s compliance system’.

A fine of £17,800 was levied for ‘failing to accurately report a donation and keep a proper accounting record’.

Louise Edwards is the director of regulation for the Electoral Commission. She stated that “The party’s actions and decisions reflected serious failures in its compliance system.

“As a well-resourced party with a lot of compliance and financial experts and large amounts of money flowing through its accounts, it is important that the Conservative Party has sufficient robust systems to comply with its legal reporting obligations.

The Daily Mail revealed details of the lavish redecoration of the apartment shared by the PM and his then fiancée in March.

Lulu Lytle, a high-end designer, reportedly incorporated gold wall coverings in the No11 renovation. 

The funding did not show up in the Commission’s political donation list or in Johnson’s Commons Register of Interests. 

The Labour Party demanded an investigation to determine how and if rules were violated. 

The Electoral Commission said that Huntswood Associates transferred £67,801.72 to the Conservative Party on October 19, 2020.

Some £15,000 of that amount was for an event, but the commission said he ‘specifically identified the remaining £52,801.72 as a donation to cover an earlier payment of that value made by the party to the Cabinet Office’.

Three invoices totaling the same amount were paid by the Cabinet Office over the summer 2020 for refurbishment work at the Prime Minister’s Flat in 11 Downing Street. These were done on the understanding that the party would repay the money.

But the commission said that in donation records submitted on January 27, 2021, while the party reported the £15,000 from Huntswood Associates, it failed to report the £52,801.72.

Boris, what did he know? 

There are two accounts about what Boris knew, and which time. The investigation of the Electoral Commission is different from that conducted by Lord Geidt (his ministerial standards adviser) earlier in this year.

Lord Geidt’s report noted:  ‘The Prime Minister … confirms that he knew nothing about such payments until immediately prior to media reports in February 2021. The Prime Minister immediately sought advice on his interest and paid the total amount to the bank directly on 8 March 2021. 

The Electoral Commission says that the following happened: ’29/11/2020: Lord Brownlow, the Prime Minister, contacted him via WhatsApp to ask for authorization of further refurbishments on his residence. Lord Brownlow agreed and said that while the trust was still not in place, he did know where it came from.  

The commission also concluded that the reference in the party’s financial records to the payment of £52,801.72 made by the party for the refurbishment was not accurate as it was referred to as a ‘blind trust loan’.

However, no trust had been established to restore the flat.

The Tories will be considering appeals against the fine imposed on them by the Electoral Commission in relation to Boris Johnson’s Flat Refurbishment. 

Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat MP said it was still to be determined if Lord Geidt would feel able continue in his position. He also stated that anyone who assumes this role will need to ‘exhibit perhaps a higher degree of curiosity and maybe a little less trust’ than they have done so far.

Shetland MP said in the Commons that the Electoral Commission’s report on donations to refurbish Downing Street Flat flats today stated that Lord Brownlow, Prime Minister of Britain was requesting money via WhatsApp in November 2020.

The Prime Minister did tell Lord Geidt the Independent Advisor that he was only aware of the funding source after February 2021.

“It remains to be determined if Lord Geidt can continue to act as an independent advisor in such circumstances.

“But anyone who does that job must do it with all assiduousness shall we say and maybe more curiosity and trust than is the case so far.”