Boris Johnson news: Latest updates as Minister says nothing untoward in flat renovation
Angela Rayner jokes that there may soon be a vacant post for Prime Minister
“Nothing untoward” happened during a WhatsApp exchange between Boris Johnson and the Tory donor who paid for the luxury renovation of his Downing Street apartment, insisted a minister.
In messages released on Thursday, the Prime Minister asked Lord Brownlow to help him with the £ 112,000 upgrade, while discussing the possibility of a ‘Great Exhibition 2.0’, an art project backed by the peer .
Two months after their conversation, Lord Brownlow held a meeting with then Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden about the idea, which never came to fruition.
Small Business Minister Paul Scully defended the Prime Minister against accusations of “cash for access”, saying Radio schedules that it is standard practice for ministers to forward proposals to the department concerned.
However, Labor insisted the government had to explain Mr Johnson’s actions, with Deputy Leader Angela Rayner calling them “outright corruption”.
His comments come after Mr Johnson issued a “humble and sincere apology” for not initially disclosing the messages to his standards adviser, Lord Geidt, who expressed his displeasure at not being informed sooner.
For more on today’s biggest political stories, see Matt Mathers’ daily Westminster overview:
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 9:55 AM
Further inquiries into Downing Street apartment renovation needed, Labor says
Further investigations are needed to get to the “absolute bottom” of the Downing Street apartment renovation scandal, Labor has said.
Talk to BBC Radio 4’s Today programShadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed said PM could be guilty of ‘cash access’ during trade with Tory donor Lord Brownlow over renovation and art project peer-supported.
“What we are seeing here is a case of potential cash access where Lord Brownlow had access to ministers to try to influence them over decisions to spend taxpayers’ money – which is why this is so important,” he said. Mr Reed said.
“These very comfortable texts show that there was a quid pro quo between the Prime Minister and Lord Brownlow, and we have to get to the bottom of this,” he added.
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 9:46 AM
“Nothing untoward” in the Prime Minister’s WhatsApp exchange with the conservative donor, insists the minister
There was “nothing untoward” about Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp exchange with a Tory donor who paid for his apartment renovation in Downing Street, a minister insisted.
Small Business Minister Paul Scully’s comments to Radio schedules follow suggestions that Lord Brownlow was successful in pushing forward a proposal for a “Great Exhibition 2.0” – an arts festival modeled on the 1851 event – by paying for the improvement works.
The idea, which was discussed by the couple, was never realized but led to a meeting between Lord Brownlow and the Culture Secretary a few months later.
“Ministers get proposals all the time and what has happened rightly is that it was passed on to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) where it is located,” said Mr. Scully.
“Lord Brownlow made his own legwork and it wouldn’t just have gone to the Prime Minister, but the important thing is that it didn’t go forward… so there’s nothing untoward going on out of it, you know, a few lines in a WhatsApp. “
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 9:15 AM
Raab’s department wasted £ 238million on botched projects in 2021
Labor has asked the National Audit Office to investigate the ‘staggering’ losses of £ 238million to Dominic Raab’s Justice Department in 2021.
This cost was increased by the £ 98.2million spent on a new electronic criminal marking system, which was later scrapped.
The department also paid HMRC £ 72.1million for its failure to properly report the employment status of some of its employees.
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 9:03 AM
Tories say BBC should play national anthem every day
Conservative MPs said the bbc should play the national anthem every day to end its programming at 1 a.m., because it brings “a great sense of unity and pride in our nation”.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, suggested the idea during a Commons speech on Thursday.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries called it a “fantastic question”, while her deputy Nigel Huddleston said the more we hear the song “the better”.
Our political correspondent Jon stone reports:
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022, 8:44 AM
1.2 million more people will pay a higher tax rate by 2026, new research finds
More than a million more people will pay the highest tax rate within four years, according to a new study commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.
The opposition party urged the government to abandon its “stealth tax raid” which it said would “crush families who are already feeling the effects.”
The research comes amid a cost-of-living crisis, driven by sharp increases in fuel and gas prices.
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022, 8:21 AM
Timeline of Boris Johnson’s apartment scandal
The scandal over the costly renovation of Boris Johnson’s apartment began last February and still has not died down, despite the PM having been cleared of a potential violation of ministerial conduct.
With the publication this week of new messages between him and Tory donor Lord Brownlow, Labor believes that history still has a long way to go.
Adam forrest has this practical overview of the saga so far:
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 8:08 AM
Prime Minister accused of “corruption” over renovation of luxury apartment
Boris Johnson has been charged with “bribery” in a sleazy new case involving the luxury refurbishment of his Downing Street residence.
The accusation comes after the publication of a WhatsApp exchange between him and conservative donor Lord Brownlow, in which they discussed the redesign and also a proposal for a “Great Exhibition 2.0”, a project supported by the peer.
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022, 7:55 AM
Hello and welcome to The independents live political coverage, which today will focus on all the latest sleazy allegations facing the government.
Rory sullivanJanuary 7, 2022 7:53 AM