Politics

New requirements advisor can not examine Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will be the final judge on any investigation into whether he has breached the Secretary of State’s code, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Prime Minister has been faced with allegations that he violated the official rules for funding his Downing Street apartment.

The election observer launched his own investigation on Wednesday after No. 10 refused to say whether Johnson applied for an initial loan from the Conservative Party to cover the renovation of his No. 11 residence that he was with partner Carrie Symonds and hers little son Wilfred shares.

Amid growing allegations from Tory Sleaze, including texts Johnson exchanged with billionaire businessman James Dyson on tax policy, the Prime Minister this week appointed Lord Geidt as the government’s new independent ministerial advisor.

The position had been vacant since Alex Allan resigned after Johnson decided not to fire Home Secretary Priti Patel after a public service investigation found her guilty of bullying.

However, Geidt will not have the power to investigate Johnson’s top team, and the Prime Minister will continue to be the “ultimate arbiter” of whether he or any other minister has broken the Ministerial Code.

The Code governs the conduct of ministers and Geidt is expected to prepare an annual report on their personal and financial interests to ensure that the correct standards are being followed.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said Johnson was maintaining control of the process as he was concerned that an independent advisor with the authority to launch probes could be involved in an investigation with “trivial or annoying complaints.”

“So he will remain the ultimate referee,” he said.

When asked if this means that the prime minister might refuse to make any statements about himself, the spokesman said, “The prime minister will remain the ultimate arbiter, yes.”

The spokesman continued to urge whether Johnson Geidt could override any sanctions he recommended to ministers if they violated the Code, saying, “The Prime Minister remains, as always, the ultimate arbiter of the Code and it draws conclusions from this. That rightly remains with the Prime Minister. ”

The Election Commission on Wednesday opened an investigation into the renovation of £ 200,000 worth of apartments and said in a statement that it was convinced that “there is reason to believe that there is a crime or a criminal offense”.

Prime Ministers are given a budget of up to £ 30,000 a year to renovate their Downing Street residence. However, Johnson has reportedly spent up to £ 200,000.

Former aide Dominic Cummings accused him of Tory donors trying to “secretly pay” for the renovation in a “possibly illegal” move.

A spokesman # 10 said the cost “was personally borne by the prime minister” and that party funds “will not be used”.

Stefan Rousseau PABoris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds stand in front of 10 Downing Street

Downing Street said Johnson would “be happy to help” if the electoral commission requests information from him during its investigation.

When asked if Johnson is ready to be interviewed in person, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said, “This is a matter for the Conservative Party as a political party and the CCHQ has announced that they will continue to work constructively with the Electoral Commission on this matter .

“They will provide all the necessary information to assist the Commission.

“The Prime Minister has not been asked for information, but he and the government are of course happy to help if asked.”

Union leader Keir Starmer pressed Johnson on Wednesday over the House of Commons housing claims.

Johnson has continued to insist that he personally paid for it, but refused to clarify whether he was offered a loan from a donor.

Starmer said, “Who in the beginning – and Prime Minister is the key word here in the beginning – who initially paid to renovate their Downing Street apartment?”

Johnson replied, “For the latest thing he should know, I should know that I personally paid to renovate Downing Street.

“And I contrast it … any further explanation I may have to make is advised by Lord Geidt (the independent adviser on the interests of ministers).”

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