Friday 23 April 2021 / 5:43 PM Rachel Reeves

Government’s behaviour on Number 10 luxury refurb needs investigating

The Parliamentary Question answered by the government today has raised more questions than answers.

Responding to its publication, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves MP, says that “the government seem determined to continue with their cover-up around the Number 10 refurb. The new claims of the Prime Minister’s former Chief Advisor raise serious concerns at the conduct of the Prime Minister and government over this matter. This is the tip of the iceberg of Tory sleaze.”

Labour will shortly be writing to the Government with the full list of questions that the Prime Minister still needs to answer.

Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said:

“There is something deeply suspect about how Boris Johnson and the Government have been trying to cover up the luxury refurbishment of No.10.

“Throughout the course of the last year the government has been repeatedly evasive about who has been paying for the refurbishment. That leaves far too many questions marks over potential special favours that could have been cashed in on the back of that donation.

“Given we know it only takes a text from one of the Prime Minister’s chums to get a tax break, what might a discreet donation for a luxury refurbishment might get you?

“The cover-up around the Number 10 refurb is the tip of the iceberg of Tory sleaze.

“It has been claimed by the Prime Minister’s former Chief Advisor that what was intended was unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and would break the rules on disclosing donations. These are serious accusations which need investigating in full.

“We need transparency around the timeline of the events, details of who knew what and when but also an explanation as to what precisely is so sensitive that it has taken up so much government time and meant the Head of the Civil Service had to be put in charge of the matter.”

A Labour spokesperson added:

“The Government are being deeply misleading in their claims of ‘engaging’ with the Labour party over this matter. Rather, they have ignored repeated questions on basic transparency around this and continue to drag their feet on publishing the Register of Ministers’ Financial Interests.”

Questions for the Prime Minister to answer:

  • Will the Government release any correspondence relating the payments or donations around this refurbishment?
  • What was the full amount spent on the refurbishment and when was the money for the refurbishment paid for?
  • Why did Boris Johnson spend more than £30,000 which the Cabinet Office thought was necessary and was prepared to provide?
  • Who paid for the work undertaken in the first instance, and who is Boris Johnson now proposing to reimburse?
  • Why didn’t Boris Johnson pay for this from the outset?
  • Were there any real or perceived conflicts of interest at any stage with the original donors and are others providing financial aid to the Prime Minister which have not yet been fully disclosed?
  • Did anyone provide Boris Johnson with a loan by initially paying for the work on the flat and was this declared properly?
  • When will the government publish the Register of Ministers’ Financial Interests so we can get basic transparency on the Prime Minister’s Interests including any potential conflict of interests?
  • At any point were there possible conflicts of interest and breaches of the Ministerial Code or electoral law?”