politics

Boris Johnson dodges new probe into flat refurb by Parliament’s sleaze watchdog


BORIS Johnson won’t face a new probe into the refurb of his swanky Downing Street flat, No10 have confirmed.

The Commons standard watchdog Kathryn Stone told the PM she would not launch a new investigation into the redecoration of the flat which he dubbed as “a bit of tip” in embarrassing messages which emerged last week.

Designer Lulu Lytle revamped Boris Johnson's No11 flat - here's some of her earlier work

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Designer Lulu Lytle revamped Boris Johnson’s No11 flat – here’s some of her earlier work
The PM has issued a grovelling apology to sleaze-buster Lord Geidt over missing texts relating to the refurb

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The PM has issued a grovelling apology to sleaze-buster Lord Geidt over missing texts relating to the refurbCredit: Getty

The PM was cleared of any wrongdoing by the No10 sleaze buster Lord Geidt last week but was handed a slap on the wrist for failing to hand over compromising whatsapp messages about the refurb.

And now Ms Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards informed Downing Street she would not start her own new probe.

She has previously had run-ins with the PM over who paid for his lavish Mustique holiday back in 2019 – finding he failed to properly register the £15,000 jolly.

And the PM tried to sensationally boot her out of the role when she found his pal and fellow Brexiteering MP Owen Pattinson broke lobbying rules.

Boris forced his MPs to vote for a new system to police MPs but then had to u-turn after a huge outcry.

The PM’s official spokesperson confirmed the watchdog would “not be looking into” the flat refurb.

Last week embarrassing texts were published showing the PM desperately demanding cash to spruce up his home on Downing Street.

The PM was “keen” to allow swanky designer Lulu Lytle to “get on with” the refurb of his No11 apartment as soon as possible.

In text exchanges with Tory donor Lord Brownlow Mr Johnson appears to put him in touch with Lulu Lytle to kickstart the revamp.

Lord Brownlow replied in the exchange in late November 2020 that a trust he was setting up to fund the refurb wouldn’t be ready until the New Year.

But he reassured the PM that footing the bill before then would be “a doddle” so Lulu could “crack on” with the job.

Crucially Lord Brownlow appears not to have ever told Mr Johnson he ended up settling the bills himself after the trust was never set up.

The pair also discussed Lord Brownlow’s long-held desire for Britain to hold a “great exhibition” like the Victorians.

The PM had said he had no idea Lord Brownlow had coughed up £52,000 for the refurb of the No11 flat where he lives with wife Carrie.

Lord Geidt subsequently cleared him of breaching the ministerial code – but texts between the PM and Lord Brownlow discussing the refurb were later revealed.

The PM then made a “humble and sincere” apology for failing to hand over the texts

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