Inquiry into Boris Johnson's £15,000 Mustique holiday is still ongoing
Sleaze inquiry into Boris Johnson’s £15,000 Mustique holiday is still ongoing – as senior Tories brace for fresh criticism over how the luxury villa break was funded
- An enquiry into the PM’s trip to Mustique is ongoing, 16 months after the holiday
- Downing Street said Johnson made all relevant declarations for the £15,000 trip
- The PM recorded the holiday in the register of MPs’ interests last year
- He stated the break came courtesy of Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross
A sleaze inquiry into Boris Johnson’s trip to Mustique is still ongoing some 16 months after the Prime Minister’s lavish Caribbean holiday.
Downing Street yesterday said Mr Johnson had made all relevant declarations after the ten-day luxury villa break, which was worth £15,000.
But senior Tories are braced for fresh criticism of Mr Johnson over how his and Carrie Symonds’ trip was funded.
The PM recorded the holiday in the register of MPs’ interests last year, stating the break came courtesy of Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross, who owns a holiday villa on the island.
A sleaze inquiry into Boris Johnson’s trip to Mustique is still ongoing some 16 months after the Prime Minister’s lavish Caribbean holiday
Senior Tories are braced for fresh criticism of Mr Johnson over how his and Carrie Symonds’ trip was funded
A spokesman for Mr Ross, a long-time Tory donor, initially told the Mail that the tycoon had not paid for the trip, describing the claim as a ‘mistake’. They later backtracked, saying Mr Ross had ‘facilitated’ the holiday in December 2019.
Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, agreed to a Labour request to launch an inquiry.
More than a year later, a Tory source has told the Mail that concern is mounting that Mr Johnson could be reprimanded over his failure to register the involvement of The Mustique Company, which owns the tiny paradise island.
Another insider said the arrangements for the financing of the holiday had led to a dispute between Miss Symonds and Helen MacNamara, then director general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office.
Sarah Richardson, the owner of the villa where the couple stayed, told the Mail at the time: ‘The rentals are handled by The Mustique Company. Unless we are staying there ourselves, the company rents it. The company is in charge.
‘We have a contract with the company to manage all the rentals. All we do is get the statement. We get paid for the stay, we get paid for anybody who rents our house, but I have no idea who paid for the house, whether [Mr Johnson] did or whoever this Mr Ross is. All I have is a statement saying how much.’
The Mustique Company levies a 10 per cent ‘island fee’ on all rentals to cover the cost of services and facilities, such as utilities, medical care and security. The PM’s declaration made no mention of this fee, leaving it unclear who paid it – if anyone.
A source told the Mail: ‘The issue that is causing concern is not so much over Ross, it is whether The Mustique Company should have been declared as well.’
Pippa Ona, director of sales and marketing at The Mustique Company, said it was ‘absolutely not’ the case the business had paid for Mr Johnson’s stay – and had ‘no idea’ who did. She refused to reveal whether the ‘island fee’, which would have amounted to £1,500 for the PM’s stay, had been waived – but did say that Mustique ‘prides itself on the privacy’ of its clients.
Downing Street yesterday said Mr Johnson had made all relevant declarations after the ten-day luxury villa break, which was worth £15,000
The PM recorded the holiday in the register of MPs’ interests last year, stating the break came courtesy of Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross, who owns a holiday villa on the island
Downing Street said the Prime Minister had made all the appropriate declarations.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves last night called for the investigation into the financing of the holiday to be published. ‘As sleaze scandal upon scandal unfolds, we need to know where the probe into who paid for the Prime Minister’s luxury Caribbean getaway is,’ she said.
‘This is even more critical given the Prime Minister’s scandalous cover-up of who paid for the Downing Street flat refurbishment. The truth must come out.’
The Mail reported earlier this year that Miss Symonds had urged her fiance to sack Miss MacNamara, a Whitehall sleazebuster, after she ruled that only a small part of the cost of refurbishing the couple’s Downing Street flat could be met from the public purse.
In the end, Miss MacNamara left the civil service of her own volition, after accepting the role of director of policy and corporate affairs at the Premier League.
The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards declined to comment on why its investigation was taking so long, or when the findings would be published.
Source: Read Full Article