Boris Johnson paid for £200,000 Downing Street flat revamp himself, says Tory minister

Liz Truss has said Boris Johnson’s flat refurbishment came out of his own pocket and dismissed Cummings claims as ‘tittle tattle’

Labour is calling for a senior minister to face questions over whether the prime minister asked Tory donor’s to pay for his Downing Street flat refurbishment.

The party is reportedly hoping to be given an urgent question which would summon the Government to the Commons to account for allegations made by Mr Cummings, the BBC is reporting.

It comes as Mr Cummings accused his former boss of plotting an “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal” plan to get Tory donors to secretly fund a lavish refurbishment of his Downing Street flat in a blog post.

The Government has previously said Mr Johnson paid for the revamp – reported to have cost £200,000 – out of his own pocket.

‘Tittle tattle’

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has denied that Boris Johnson broke rules for ministers over refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat.

Ms Truss said the Prime Minister had personally met the costs of the work and she dismissed claims by his former top aide Dominic Cummings as “tittle tattle”.

Dominic Cummings used to be Boris Johnson's top aide (Getty).

However, she repeatedly refused to say whether Mr Johnson had received the money from a Tory donor or from the party to pay for it.

“I have been assured that the rules have been fully complied with and I know that he has met the costs of the flat refurbishment,” she told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

“I absolutely believe and trust that the Prime Minister has done that.

“What people want to know is that in line with the rules the Prime Minister has met the cost of this refurbishment. That has happened. All the costs will be declared in line with the rules.

Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson (Jeff Mitchell/Getty)

“That, as far as I am concerned, completely answers that question.”

‘There is serious questions’

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “There is serious questions now that the Conservatives need to answer around how they’ve dealt with their mates who have been fast-tracked through a VIP list to get contracts.”

On the Downing Street flat, she added: “The Electoral Commission should be looking into it absolutely and doing a full investigation, especially as you’ve got a former senior adviser to the Prime Minister suggesting that not only was it unethical but he believes it could be illegal as well.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss appeared on the Sophy Ridge on Sunday show outside BBC Broadcasting House in central London (PA).

“These are serious allegations and we also think the Prime Minister should come to the House of Commons on Monday and should declare the ministers’ register of interests, which is eight months in delay, we’ve not seen that.

"Why are they hiding the fact that ministers have to declare these donations and they’ve not done that?

“That’s serious and the list of the VIPs who got contracts who seem to be mates of Tories or Tory donors, this is a real stench around what Government is about.”

Labour’s Jess Phillips called for a “root and branch” independent inquiry into the use of taxpayers’ money under Boris Johnson’s Government.

What did Dominic Cummings say in his blog post?

In his first blog article published since he left his post at the end of 2020, Cummings denied leaking Whatsapp messages between the PM and James Dyson.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner (Peter Summers/Getty)

He also denied being the “chatty rat” responsible for a leak regarding lockdown plans in October 2020, instead pointing the finger at Henry Newman, a special adviser and close friend of Carrie Symonds, the PM’s fiancee.

Cummings then alleged that Johnson tried to stop an inquiry into the leak due to the investigation possibly implicating one of Symond’s friends.

Cummings wrote that the PM said doing so would cause him “very serious problems” with his fiance.

The blog post also said:

-That Cummings had told the PM that was “mad” and “totally unethical” to cancel a leak and that he which had affected millions of people “just because it might implicate his girlfriend’s friends”.

- That he warned Mr Johnson against plans to have donors secretly pay for refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, saying they were “unethical, foolish (and) possibly illegal”.

- The new No 10 director of communications Jack Doyle made false accusations about Mr Cummings “at the PM’s request”.

- That while Mr Johnson had forwarded Cummings some of his WhatsApp exchanges with Sir James, they did not include those featured in the leak to the BBC.

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