Boris Johnson’s standards adviser Lord Geidt on brink of quitting over Downing Street flat

Boris Johnson’s standards adviser was at the breaking point of quitting on Thursday night following accusations that the Prime Minister misled him over the refurbishment of his Downing Boulevard flat.

The Telegraph is familiar with Lord Geidt will imagine his place if Mr Johnson does not satisfactorily explain why he didn’t percentage essential evidence with him while he investigated the affair earlier this 12 months.

On Thursday, the Electoral Fee fined the Conservative Birthday Party £17,800 for breaking laws on reporting donations after its personal investigation – which integrated the “missing” proof – discovered Mr Johnson had requested a Tory donor to fund the makeover.

the prospective resignation of Lord Geidt could positioned Mr Johnson’s management below even higher pressure. 

the most recent blow to his authority, on a day while he welcomed the delivery of his 2d kid with his wife Carrie, supposed he’s struggling with 3 separate controversies – over his flat, new Covid regulations and christmas events held in Quantity 10 closing year.

The Cabinet Secretary’s research into the events was broadened to include a total of three get-togethers that may have breached Covid rules.

Following the resignation of Mr Johnson’s former spokesman Allegra Stratton on Wednesday, more aides have been dragged into the row. Jack Doyle, his communications secretary, was once named as one in every of folks that attended a staff birthday celebration on Dec 18 remaining 12 months and handed out awards.

there were additionally calls for the resignation of Ed Oldfield, Downing Side Road’s head of broadcast, who joked with Ms Stratton in regards to the celebration at a mock press convention, having himself attended it.

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A Tory riot over Mr Johnson’s new Covid “Plan B” rules, introduced on Wednesday, used to be all of a sudden gathering tempo, with more than 30 backbenchers indicating that they might revolt while the foundations are put to a vote in Parliament subsequent week.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, on Thursday suggested Conservative MPs to transport decisively to remove the Top Minister from workplace.

chatting with The Telegraph, Sir Keir told them to think about the question: “Are we going to endure this for the following years, or however lengthy it’s going to be, degrading ourselves and our party, defending the indefensible?”

Meanwhile, a Survation poll sooner than next week’s North Shropshire byelection has Labour six points sooner than the Conservatives on Westminster vote casting goal, with Labour gaining some degree and the Tories dropping from the former week.

the most recent challenge to engulf Mr Johnson involves the lengthy-operating controversy over refurbishments to his Downing Boulevard flat after the Electoral Commission discovered he had asked Tory donor Lord Brownlow to pay lots of pounds for the work to be done.

Whilst the fee fined the Conservative Celebration for breaking laws on reporting donations, it also unearthed proof that seemed to undermine Mr Johnson’s previous assurances to Lord Geidt over the level of his own involvement within the refurbishment plans.

The investigation discovered Mr Johnson sent Lord Brownlow a WhatsApp message on Nov 29 last 12 months “asking him to authorise additional, at that level unspecified, refurbishment works at the residence”.

Lord Brownlow agreed to do that, and explained that a trust fund – which had been proposed to finance the works however in the long run by no means materialised – had “no longer yet been set up but that he knew where the funding was once coming from”, the file said. the next day, he advised a senior party reliable he meant to “duvet the further refurbishment prices in my opinion”.

The alternate seems to name into query Mr Johnson’s assurances to Lord Geidt that he “knew not anything” of the payments until they have been stated within the media in February.

This defence was in Lord Geidt’s document, revealed in Would Possibly, which exonerated Mr Johnson of any wrongdoing but noted that he had acted “unwisely”.

Lord Geidt's report, published in May, exonerated Mr Johnson of any wrongdoing but noted that he had acted 'unwisely' Lord Geidt’s document, printed in Would Possibly, exonerated Mr Johnson of any wrongdoing however referred to that he had acted ‘unwisely’ Credit Score: Area of Commons/PA Wire

The Telegraph knows Lord Geidt has requested the Prime Minister and Lord Brownlow to supply an explanation as soon as Friday of why the WhatsApp messages weren’t divulged to him in conjunction with other proof while he appeared into the problem.

If Lord Geidt, a former private secretary to the Queen, does not receive what he regards to be a best explanation, The Telegraph knows that he is prone to resign because he wouldn’t have the opportunity to do his activity if the bond of agree with among him and Mr Johnson had been to be broken.

One By One, there is mounting hypothesis that Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Requirements, will now start up her own investigation into Mr Johnson.

While Ms Stone’s place of work has refused to comment, Labour has written to the commissioner demanding that she look at, with parliamentary assets suggesting a call on whether to accomplish that may well be introduced early next week.

Publishing the findings of its research, the Electoral Fee mentioned the Conservatives had failed to totally document a donation of £SIXTY SEVEN,000 from Huntswood Associates Limited, an organization managed by means of Lord Brownlow.

Even As the Conservatives best reported £15,000, the commission stated the remainder £52,000 that was once used to fund the upkeep of the flat in Quantity 11 Downing Street must have been disclosed. This amounted to breaches in the law across the reporting of donations, it concluded, and represented “critical failings” within the party’s “compliance techniques”.

It comes 8 months after the investigation used to be first launched at the again of a string of news into the lavish flat maintenance and mounting scrutiny over the failure of the Conservative Birthday Party and Mr Johnson to sign up the budget in public transparency registers.

The file discovered that, in general, Lord Brownlow paid £112,549 in opposition to the maintenance of the flat. It additionally disclosed that, in October ultimate yr, a junior member of Conservative personnel asked in regards to the £FIFTY TWO,801 the birthday party had now not declared, and had been instructed: “do not fret.”

Dominic Cummings said the report showed Boris Johnson had 'lied' to Lord Geidt Dominic Cummings said the record confirmed Boris Johnson had ‘lied’ to Lord Geidt Credit Score: Jeff Overs/BBC

On Thursday, Dominic Cummings, the former Number 10 chief aide, said the report showed Mr Johnson had “lied” to Lord Geidt. 

He added that prior to his departure from Number 10 he were “extraordinarily blunt” with the High Minister that his “need for mystery donations to fund wallpaper” used to be “unlawful and unethical”.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy chief stated: “it’s right that the Electoral Commission has fined the Conservative Birthday Celebration, however the Top Minister will have to now provide an explanation for why he lied to the British public, pronouncing he didn’t realize who was in the back of Quantity ELEVEN flat refurb, all of the even as he was once WhatsApping the donor asking for more cash.

“Boris Johnson has taken the British public for fools. he isn’t handiest broken the regulation however made a mockery of the factors we expect from our prime ministers.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesman denied he had lied and insisted he had “acted according with the foundations in any respect instances” and “made all essential declarations”.

Downing Boulevard’s defence amounted to Mr Johnson not realizing that Lord Brownlow used to be providing the money to the “blind trust” he used to be setting up.

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