Boris Johnson ‘will be CLEARED of breaking the ministerial code by taking £58,000 loan to redecorate his flat – but Lord Geidt’s inquiry will criticise PM’s ‘deeply unsatisfactory’ behaviour’

  • Last year, the Conservative Party did not register a donation from Lord Brownlow 
  • Boris Johnson used the No. 11 private quarters to fund renovation of his personal quarters.
  • His May donation offense was a violation of ministerial codes.
  • Lord Geidt reexamined initial investigation after WhatsApp messages between Lord Brownlow and Mr Johnson
  • The ministerial code violation will be again cleared, and PM will still be criticised for his behavior 

Boris Johnson ‘will be cleared of breaking the ministerial code by taking a £58,000 loan to redecorate his Downing Street flat’ – but Lord Christopher Geidt’s inquiry will criticise the Prime Minister’s ‘deeply unsatisfactory behaviour’.

The Conservative Party was fined £17,800 by the Electoral Commission earlier this month for failing to register the five-figure cash donation from businessman and Tory peer Lord Brownlow in October last year.

It was spent on the extravagant renovation of No. 11 private quarters, which were used by Carrie Johnson and her husband Johnson.

Lord Geidt, independent adviser on ministers’ interests, investigated the allegations and cleared Mr Johnson of breaking the ministerial code in May, saying there was ‘no evidence that the Prime Minister had been informed by Lord Brownlow that he had personally settled the total costs’. 

The row about the refurbishment erupted again after Lord Brownlow was informed by the Electoral Commission that Johnson had personally emailed him to request work to be underwritten. 

Lord Geidt has since exchanged a series of letters in recent weeks with Mr Johnson regarding the further revelations over the donation, the FT reports. 

An independent advisor has revisited the initial investigation. He was not misled in his claim that the Prime Minister had solicited a donation from Lord Brownlow. Sources within Government have claimed that they now see WhatsApp conversations between Mr Johnson (Tory donor) and Mr Johnson.

The donation paid for lavish renovation of private quarters in No 11 used by Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie (both pictured)

The donation paid for lavish renovation of private quarters in No 11 used by Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie (both pictured)

The Prime Minister's standards adviser, Lord Geidt (pictured), will clear Mr Johnson of breaking the ministerial code, but he will criticise his ‘deeply unsatisfactory behaviour’

The Prime Minister’s standards adviser, Lord Geidt (pictured), will clear Mr Johnson of breaking the ministerial code, but he will criticise his ‘deeply unsatisfactory behaviour’

An example of previous work carried out by interior designer Lulu Lytle, who transformed the living quarters above No 11

Lulu Lytle was an interior designer who transformed No. 11’s living space.

What happened in the  ‘Wallpapergate’ scandal?

How much work were you able to do?

Lulu Lytle, an interior designer transformed the living space from the ‘John Lewis furniture nightmare’ that Carrie felt after the death of Theresa May.

It was paid for by who?

The bill was initially settled by the Cabinet Office. 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 paid the Cabinet Office back. It was Lord Brownlow (then Tory donor) and chairman of the trust, who made both a donation and paid money directly to the supplier. The designer was eventually paid by the Prime Minister.

What were the rules of this?

The Electoral Commission found that the Conservative Party violated the law when it failed to declare the majority of the money received from Lord Brownlow as a gift.

Is the PM playing a role in this?

Lord Geidt cleared him, the sleaze watchdog. This was because he said he didn’t know anything about the complicated funding arrangements that existed until February. 

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

According to some reports, Lord Geidt has exchanged ‘three or four letters’ with No 10, in his latest investigation into the matter. This information could be published next year.

According to Lord Geidt, the behaviour of Prime Minister has been “criticised”, with Lord Geidt labeling it as a “deeply insatiable” situation.

Instead of sanctions, Lord Geidt and Mr Johnson have committed to reforming the oversight system for ministerial interest to provide more resources to the Cabinet Office’s relevant secretariat. 

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader wrote earlier in the month to Kathryn Stone, Parliamentary Commissioner to Standards Kathryn Stone asking for an investigation into the donations.

Ms Rayner stated that Boris Johnson’s fraud is ruining the Office of Prime Minister.

The Paterson scandal, illegal Christmas parties in Number 10, and now questionable payments by a multimillionaire Conservative Party donor for Downing Street luxury.

Boris Johnson, the center of the rule, said, “It is one rule that they follow, and one rule that all of us should adhere to.”

It comes as Mr Johnson has slumped to his lowest ever popularity rating among Tory members, a poll found on Tuesday.

According to the ConservativeHome survey the Prime Minister ranks as the least popular Cabinet member with an approval rating of minus 34%.

Two other people have negative ratings: Mark Spencer, Chief Whip and Priti Patel, Home Secretary.

Liz Truss is the most popular, scoring 74% approval. 

It came a day after another survey for the website found the Foreign Secretary is in pole position to take over from Mr Johnson – storming past Rishi Sunak.

According to the poll, the Chancellor ranks sixth in Cabinet popularity with a net satisfaction of just 49%. 

He’s beaten by Education Secretary Nadhim Zhawi and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. 

A poll showed that Michael Gove, Levelling Up Secretary (plus 16), fell to sixth (plus 16) while Sajid Javid (plus 29), was eighth (plus 29).