The timing of his Spanish holiday has sparked calls stating that he “doesn’t care” about the issues currently facing the UK, like spiralling gas prices and the cost of living following the £20 Universal Credit uplift cut.
According to the Mail on Sunday, Johnson travelled with pregnant wife Carrie Symonds and their year-old son Wilf to a private villa on the Costa del Sol in Marbella.
Johnson and his family reportedly set off after his keynote speech at the Tory conference in Manchester.
A Spanish police source reportedly told the Mirror: “Officially we can’t confirm but unofficially he’s in a big luxury villa on the border between Marbella and Benahavis.
”We have been made aware that the British prime minister is staying and so we are all being extra vigilant. We know how important he is globally and what a potential target he is so there are extra patrols over the next few days.”
Downing Street did not deny reports Mr Johnson had travelled to Spain, but declined to say whether the Prime Minister was instead working at No 10 or in Chequers, as is commonplace.
His decision to take a holiday has been criticised heavily as the UK grapples with rising energy prices, fuel shortages and supply issues. His holiday comes the same week that the Government scrapped the £20 Universal Credit uplift.
Holidays have at various times caused difficulties for Johnson’s Government.
Dominic Raab was demoted from his role as foreign secretary after criticism for staying on vacation in Crete while the Taliban marched back to power in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister himself also endured months of scrutiny after a trip to the Caribbean island of Mustique in 2019.
He was ultimately cleared of breaking the MPs’ code of conduct after an investigation into whether he adequately registered £15,000 worth of accommodation paid for by a Tory donor.
What are people saying?
Many have taken to social media platform Twitter to express their frustrations regarding the Prime Minister.
One person wrote: “Is anyone really surprised that Boris Johnson is on holiday again in fancy Marbella? I mean this is the same guy who spent £200,000 on a golden wallpaper, £27,000 on takeaway food and countless holidays in between when he should have been at his desk. He couldn’t care less.”
Another tweeted: “Hi @BorisJohnson while you’re in Marbella, can you bring me back some things from Europe, please? I’d like some food, petrol, reasonably priced energy, some happiness, freedom, a few HGV drivers, and a working f***king government, please.”
“We’re all in this together. Except for the Prime Minister. He’s in Marbella. But the rest of us are in it together. Except for Tories - who are rich and privileged and don’t give a f**k about normal people. But you and I, we’re in it together,” wrote another.
Fake History author Otto English tweeted: “As Britons face soaring UK energy bills, rising Covid cases, benefit cuts, empty supermarket shelves and a petrol crisis… Boris Johnson jets off for a luxury break in Marbella.”
Comic Susie McCabe wrote: “Hold on… in the midst of a logistics crisis, fuel shortages, the worst vaccination rates and infection rates in Europe while cutting welfare our PM has went off to Marbella on holiday… Seriously…. Anyone???”
A parody Boris Johnson Twitter account also racked up 5.5 thousand likes on a tweet about the situation, writing: “I’m a bit bored with everyone moaning about rising prices, food shortages and the petrol crisis, so I’m spending the week in a luxury villa in Marbella.”
What has Kwasi Kwarteng said?
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng defended Johnson for his decision to take a holiday, stating that it is “reasonable” for the Prime Minister to take a break.
Kwarteng said that he remains in “regular WhatsApp contact” with Johnson.
Speaking to Times Radio, Kwarteng said: “I believe he has gone away. I’m not sure where he’s gone.
“But what I would say is I am in regular contact with him. He’s also had a year-and-a-half in which he’s almost lost his life to Covid, his mother passed away very sadly two or three weeks ago and he may have decided to take a short break.
“I think that’s something reasonable. I’m in regular WhatsApp contact with him, I spoke to him only a few days ago. I’m not sure when he’s supposed to have left the country.”
On Twitter, Piers Morgan also came to the defence of the Prime Minister, writing: “There are many reasons to berate @BorisJohnson but taking his first foreign holiday in 21 months after trying to deal with a pandemic, nearly dying from covid, becoming a father again, and recently losing his mother, is not one of them.”
What have Labour said?
Labour called for “urgent answers on who exactly is running the show” after Kwarteng’s claims he was in talks with the Treasury over support for firms struggling during the energy crisis were denied by the Treasury.
Shadow chief secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “In the teeth of a crisis of its own making, the Government has put its out of office on.
“The Prime Minister has gone on holiday, no one knows where the chancellor is, and this morning we understand the business secretary has entered the realms of fantasy.”
On Twitter, she added: “The government needs to get a grip - the British people are paying the price for the PM’s incompetence.”
The official Labour Party Twitter account also wrote: “Britain is experiencing a fuel crisis, empty supermarket shelves and cuts to family finances by the Conservatives.
“Where’s Boris Johnson? On holiday in Spain.”
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