Labour demands publication of Prime Minister’s flat refurbishment payments and debts
Labour has today demanded that Lord Geidt, the government’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, publish all details, payments and correspondence regarding the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat, which was paid for by Conservative Party donor Lord Brownlow.
Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Angela Rayner has written to Lord Geidt warning that “the public cannot have faith in the system of registering and declaring ministerial interests when these interests, debts and payments have still not been declared”.
Rayner’s said it is “frankly scarcely believable that the Prime Minister apparently had no idea about who was funding work that cost tens or even thousands of pounds” given that “nobody else in the country will have had building work carried out in their residence and not know, or even seek to find out, who was paying for it”.
Rayner goes on to say that Lord Geidt’s justification for not publishing this interest because it is “no longer current” is not justified because “the only explanation for why time has passed between the payment being made and the List of Interests being published is that the Prime Minister did not declare this interest and the government did not publish the List of Ministers’ Interests for almost a year, rather than every six months as they should have done.”
Rayner also demanded that Lord Geidt clarify how he came to the conclusion that “no conflict (or reasonably perceived conflict) arises as a result of the interests” and provide evidence for this assertion, arguing that “the public would legitimately and reasonably assume that the Prime Minister – or indeed anybody – becoming indebted by a sum of tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds would, or could at least be perceived, to have an obligation to the individual or institution doing them a financial favour that benefits them”.