Did Boris Johnson embezzle money just for a vacation? Get the latest news
Boris Johnson is back in the news, and it looks like the UK’s prime minister is in some pretty hot water. In 2019, he reportedly spent £15,000 (about $18,000 USD) on his holiday with his fiancée Carrie Symonds after winning the general election. While it sounds like a nice victory treat for himself, the expensive trip might have broken the MP Code of Conduct.
Now, the British news has revealed an investigation against Boris Johnson for said trip after officials kept it hush-hush about it due to May’s elections. Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone just revealed the probe.
So why is this a big deal? Long story short, going sunbathing in the Caribbean isn’t going to make the news, but allegedly misallocating taxpayer money – or worse, allegedly taking bribes – to go on an expensive vacay will. Grab your umbrella (not your sunscreen – we’re not going tropical), and let’s travel to Downing Street to see what’s going on.
Boris Johnson’s expensive Caribbean vacation isn’t the only probe hitting the news. Johnson’s also under fire for expensive refurbishments to his flat on Downing Street. He is also being probed for purchasing curtains.
If you’re still shaking your head asking what the big deal is, the probe is concerned about who funded Boris Johnson’s news-worthy vacay. It’s also the second in three weeks of “sleaze allegations” according to City AM. The vacay itself isn’t why Boris Johnson is hitting the news, but rather, who paid for the trip.
According to official documents, the vacation was listed as a “benefit in kind” from one Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross. Ross denied paying for the vacation – in an interview, he said he only pointed Boris Johnson to accommodation providers.
According to The Evening Standard, a spokesperson for Ross elaborated: “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.”
However, that’s not enough for Labour Party MPs, who want to know who’s footing the bill for BoJo’s vacays and why. Deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “Another day, another investigation into Boris Johnson for more sleaze and dodgy dealings. Who paid for Boris Johnson’s luxury Caribbean holiday and the renovation of his flat, and what did these donors expect in return for their huge generosity?”
Dodging the question?
As far as the investigation about renovations go, Number 10 has insisted everything was filed properly per The Evening Standard. The £58,000 renovation was reportedly paid for by Johnson after the Tory Party originally footed the bill.
When asked about said refurbishment by an Independent reporter, Johnson replied: “All this kind of stuff is absolutely not relevant to this campaign.” When the news reporter asked him to elaborate on the question, Johnson went on: “And what I think the people of this country want to know is who has the policies, who’s actually talking about the issues that matter to the people of this country.”
When the news reporter doubled down on Boris Johnson’s non-answer, Johnson replied: “I’m going to tell our friends in the opposition that I think they’d be better off focusing on the things that matter to the people of this country.” Johnson mentioned improving the NHS, rolling out the COVID vaccine, and increasing police patrols as these issues.
What will happen if foul play is found?
Currently, there are nine MPs under investigation for complaints & allegations made against them. It’s unclear if any of these allegations are related to Boris Johnson news. Johnson is being investigated specifically for possibly violating Paragraph 14 of the MPs’ standards code which stated: “fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests.”
If Johnson has been found to have acted immorally – in this case acting in a conflict of interest – he could be asked to apologize. If serious allegations are found to be true, like bribery, more consequences could come down the pipe.