Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Boris Johnson £15k luxury Caribbean holiday under investigation by Parliament

Boris Johnson is being investigated over a £15,000 Caribbean holiday.

The Prime Minister is subject of a probe by Parliament's standards watchdog over the funding of the break to the island of Mustique with his fiancee Carrie Symonds after the 2019 general election.

A list of MPs under investigation had been kept under wraps during the campaign for the May elections, but it has now been revealed by Kathryn Stone, the independent commissioner.

New transparency rules today meant the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has revealed she is investigating the Prime Minister for a possible breach of the MPs' Code of Conduct.

Johnson is also being investigated by the Electoral Commission over claims that a loan to cover works to his and Carrie's Downing Street flat was not properly declared.

The investigation into the Prime Minister's trip to the Caribbean is likely to raise fresh questions about whether he is relying on friends and allies to maintain his lifestyle.

At the time, Johnson claimed the £15,000 cost of the villa he stayed in was paid for by David Ross, a Tory party donor and former deputy chairman of Carphone Warehouse. who owns a property on the island.

But Ross then denied he had paid for the holiday and said he did not own the villa where Johnson and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, stayed.

It is the first time a serving prime minister has been investigated by the commissioner, who is responsible for regulating MPs’ conduct and adherence to Parliamentary rules.

Johnson and Carrie stayed on a villa on the island of Mustique, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, between Boxing Day and January 5, 2020.

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It had six double bedrooms, three private swimming pools, two bars, a library, and four dedicated staff – a butler, chef, gardener, and housekeeper.

The MPs' Register of Interests stated the accommodation had a "value" of £15,000 and was covered by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross.

Telephone tycoon Ross initially said he had not paid for the holiday.

But he later issued a clarification saying the register "is correct" and he had "facilitated accommodation".

A spokesman for the businessman said at the time: "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."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "All transparency requirements have been followed, as set out in the Register of Members' Financial Interests."

The Prime Minister appears on a list of nine MPs currently under investigation by the commissioner published under new Commons rules.

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