Boris Johnson’s Mustique holiday ‘was worth double the £15,000 declared’

15 May 2021, 00:42 | Updated: 15 May 2021, 08:03

Downing Street insisted Boris Johnson "transparently declared the benefit in kind" of the luxury Caribbean holiday
Downing Street insisted Boris Johnson "transparently declared the benefit in kind" of the luxury Caribbean holiday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Parliament's standards watchdog reportedly believes Boris Johnson's holiday to Mustique was worth more than double the £15,000 he declared in the Commons register.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, also said the bill had not been met by Tory donor David Ross as the Prime Minister has insisted, according to the Daily Mail.

Ms Stone, who investigates allegations and complaints against MPs, confirmed earlier this week she is still looking into whether Mr Johnson properly declared the holiday on the private island 16 months ago.

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The latest revelation will heap further pressure on the PM as he faces various investigations into whether he properly declared any donations to cover the lavish refurbishments of his official flat.

Downing Street insisted Mr Johnson "transparently declared the benefit in kind" of the luxury Caribbean holiday, and noted that Carphone Warehouse founder Mr Ross confirmed the declaration is "correct".

The Prime Minister declared the trip with fiancee Carrie Symonds as a "benefit in kind" in the Register of Members' Interests.

But the Mail said Ms Stone believes the break was worth more than twice the declared £15,000.

Mr Johnson was said to have refused to accept the ruling and is trying to have it overturned to avoid the risk of being suspended as an MP.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The PM transparently declared the benefit in kind in the Commons Register of Interests. The Cabinet Office was aware of the declaration and was content it was appropriate.

"A spokesman for Mr Ross confirmed the PM's declaration is correct and the accommodation was facilitated as a donation in kind."

This week a spokesman for Mr Ross, who owns a villa on the island, said in a statement: "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."