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MPs call for inquiry after PM refuses to declare value of luxury Spanish holiday
5 November 2021, 16:12 | Updated: 5 November 2021, 16:14
Boris Johnson is heading for another potential row with the parliamentary commissioner on standards after he refused to declare the value of his holiday to a luxury Spanish villa last month.
The villa itself is owned by Lord Goldsmith, who the PM made a life peer following the Tory 2019 election win.
Lord Goldsmith lost his Richmond Park seat but found himself in Government as a junior Foreign Office minister after being elevated to the House of Lords.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has now accused Mr Johnson of “dishing out cushy jobs for his friends who pay for his luxury holidays” after LBC discovered he had not declared the week-long holiday in the MPs’ register of financial interests.
Reports put a seven-night stay at the villa in southern Spain, which has its own swimming pool and helipad, at £25,000.
Mr Johnson has only declared the holiday in the ministerial register of interests, saying that because he has a “long-standing personal friendship” with the Goldsmiths, the villa was “provided free of charge”.
But in that declaration he has not revealed what the cost of that trip would have been if he had been asked to pay for it in full.
Furthermore, when Mr Johnson and his now wife Carrie enjoyed a winter getaway at the end of 2019 thanks to telecoms boss David Ross on the Caribbean island of Mustique, he did declare the cost of what would have been a £15,000 stay in a luxury villa in the MPs’ financial register of interests.
And when the commissioner Kathryn Stone conducted her report in to the way the trip was handled, she acknowledged the PM was right to make the declaration in the first instance.
But this time, Number 10 seem to be relying in a clause in the MPs’ code of conduct which says they don’t have to make any such declaration if there is no link to MPs, either political or through parliament.
Following Angela Rayner’s letter, it will be up to the commissioner to decide whether Mr Johnson has broken the rules and needs to declare the cost of the trip.