Labour are putting fresh pressure on the prime minister to reveal the full value of his recent freebie holiday in Spain after Boris Johnson registered complimentary hospitality at Heathrow Airport.
In his latest register of interests as an MP, Mr Johnson declared the free use of the Windsor Suite at Heathrow Airport for three people on 7 October, with the gift said to be worth a total value of £1,800.
The prime minister’s use of the suite came the day after the end of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, when Mr Johnson took advantage of a House of Commons recess to jet abroad.
Downing Street has previously confirmed the prime minister took a private flight for his October holiday.
Although Mr Johnson – a long-time opponent of Heathrow expansion – has now registered the value of the use of the airport suite, he has still not declared the value of his stay in Marbella.
In an update to his separate register of interests as a minister earlier this month, the prime minister only stated that the use of a holiday home in southern Spain was “provided free of charge” by the family of Lord Goldsmith, who is a government minister.
By declaring the holiday stay in his register of ministerial interests, and not his MP register of interest, it has fuelled speculation that Mr Johnson does not want to declare an approximate value of the free holiday.
The Goldsmiths’ holiday home, where Mr Johnson was said to have stayed with his wife Carrie Johnson and their son Wilfred, has been reported to usually cost as much as £25,000 a week to rent.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner posted on Twitter: “It’s ludicrous that the only donation Boris Johnson has declared for his latest free holiday is the hospitality he enjoyed waiting for the plane.
“The PM was given a gift by someone he gave a peerage and a ministerial job to. The PM needs to tell us the truth about his donations.”
Lord Goldsmith was previously Conservative MP for Richmond Park before he lost his seat at the 2019 general election.
Despite his rejection by voters in the south west London constituency, Lord Goldsmith was subsequently made a Tory peer in the House of Lords by Mr Johnson, which allowed him to keep his ministerial role.
Mrs Johnson is said to be a close personal friend of Lord Goldsmith, who she worked for in her first job in politics.
Ms Rayner has previously written to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, to investigate Mr Johnson’s declaration of his holiday as a possible breach of Commons rules.
“The public could understandably draw the conclusion in this case that the prime minister is dishing out cushy jobs to his friends who pay for his luxury holidays,” Ms Rayner wrote in a letter to Ms Stone earlier this month.
Also this month, Downing Street said the prime minister’s holiday had been properly declared.
The prime minister’s ministerial standards adviser, Lord Geidt, had scrutinised the declaration as part of the process, Number 10 added.
Subscribe to the All Out Politics podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Heathrow’s Windsor Suite is made up of eight private lounges which are advertised as “beautifully decorated” and as having been “designed with comfort front of mind”.
The suite is often used by the Royal Family and other VIPs.
Mr Johnson has been a long-time opponent of a proposed third runway at Heathrow, which is near his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.
He faced criticism for skipping a Commons vote on the issue in 2018 by flying out of the UK for a visit to Afghanistan when he was foreign secretary.
The trip saved Mr Johnson from having to vote against the government on Heathrow expansion, which would have seen him expected to resign as a cabinet minister.
Source: Read Full Article