Tuesday 27 April 2021 / 2:54 PM Angela Rayner

Labour calls for investigation into whether PM’s former Press Secretary ‘knowingly misled’ journalists over Downing Street flat refurb

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, has today written to Simon Case calling on him to investigate whether the Prime Minister’s former Press Secretary knowingly misled journalists when she claimed in an official briefing that Conservative Party funds were not being used to pay for the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat.

Labour is urging the Cabinet Secretary to investigate the inaccurate briefing as part of his review of his review into the refurbishment. As a civil servant, Allegra Stratton is bound by the Civil Service Code, which sets out the standards of integrity and honesty that must be upheld.

Full text of the letter

Dear Cabinet Secretary,

I write following the revelation that refurbishments to the Prime Minister’s flat were funded via a loan from the Conservative Party.

The Prime Minister’s then Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, is reported to have told lobby journalists during an official briefing on 8 March: “Conservative Party funds are not being used to pay for any refurbishment of the Downing Street estate.” When asked about the matter today, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman reportedly declined to correct the record and come clean about the donation.

As a Special Adviser, Allegra Stratton is bound by the Civil Service Code which sets out standards of integrity and honesty required from public officials. Therefore, I would urge you to build into your review an investigation into whether the former Press Secretary knowingly misled journalists and the public, or was misled herself by senior members of the government who seem intent on a cover up.

In order to maintain public trust, it is vital that the government publishes the long delayed List of Ministers’ Interests and the details of who paid for Boris Johnson’s flat.

Due to the public interest in this matter, I will be making this letter public.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Rayner
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party