Did Boris Johnson receive money from donors to renovate his home and pay for his son’s childcare costs?
There are several indications that this may be the case. The timing is rarely bad because the scandal increases the risk of the British Union disintegrating.
It’s not just the obsessive hairstyle that makes Prime Minister Boris Johnson make the impression of being dirty and weary. He has the potential to constantly end up in arguments as he ignores the rules and expresses himself insensitively and recklessly in special contexts.
Anonymous sources in the Guardian claim that Johnson’s personal finances are in disarray and that he is living beyond his means. The prime minister’s salary is just under 2 million crowns a year, but he is said to shed nearly double that.
What many fear, of course, is that if Johnson is too careless in his private life, there is a high risk that he handles affairs of state the same way.
Foto: Phil Noble / AP
According to British media, the cost of Johnson’s renewal of Downing Street should be more than SEK 2.4 million.
The latest dispute concerns the renovation of the prime minister’s residence on Downing Street. When Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds moved in with the couple’s newborn son Wilfred in 2019, Johnson felt the apartment needed a modernization.
British media reported that Johnson described the apartment that Theresa May had left behind as “a nightmare from John Lewis”. John Lewis is a department store primarily frequented by the middle class. That Johnson does not think their decor is appropriate for him is interpreted as the result of arrogance.
The state contributes £ 30,000 (about 360,000 crowns) annually when a new Prime Minister takes office and wants to make his mark on official housing. But the Johnson company is said to have cost more than 200,000 pounds (2.4 million kronor) to renew.
To avoid paying for himself, he had some Conservative donors making contributions. According to the British newspapers the Sunday Time and the Daily Mail, this must also apply to the cost of a nanny for a son.
In this case, it violates the code of conduct for ministers who say they may not receive grants from someone who is expected to demand political benefits in return. An investigation has begun on the refurbishment of the prime minister’s residence.
The weight of the accusations was increased by the fact that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s powerful former adviser who resigned six months ago, alleges that Johnson was “secretly” intending to allow donors to pay. He describes Johnson’s approach as “unethical, stupid and possibly illegal”.
During a hearing in Parliament, Johnson stated that he was personally responsible for all costs associated with the renewal. But embarrassingly, he refused to answer the question of who initially paid the bill several times.
Which can only be explained as that Johnson may have allowed someone else to pay, but when the issue got politically heated, he pushed himself afterward.
His foreign minister, Dominic Raab, this weekend refused Johnson’s defense, indicating that he wanted to wait and see what the investigations showed. However, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross called for Johnson’s resignation “clearly” if he breaks the code of conduct.
The timing of the dispute is the worst imaginable for Johnson’s conservative party, the Conservative Party. This week, local elections are taking place in England and elections for regional parliaments are taking place in Scotland and Wales.
Opinion polls show the Conservative Party has lost ground since the scandal broke out with the advance of Labor and the Scottish Independence Party.
I lose Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the great Scottish Nationalist Party, SNB, demanded that Scotland hold a new vote on independence because Britain was no longer a member of the European Union. The majority in Scotland voted against Brexit.
Johnson, who does not want to be remembered as prime minister lost Scotland, has so far refused to agree to a new referendum. But if the SNP gets its majority on Thursday, it will be difficult for it to continue blocking the issue.
During his years at Oxford, Johnson was part of the drinking association The Bullingdon Club, making the sport smash the interiors of bars and restaurants they visited, and then, with the arrogance of the wealthy, they paid for the damages.
Sometimes it’s like the streaks never come out of it. He still acts like that upper-class spoiled boy who basically thinks he’s transgressed the rules that apply to others.
Meanwhile, paradoxically frankness gives him a home-grown popularity with the electorate. A bit like the Donald Trump phenomenon.
In some ways Johnson has a similar Teflon surface as the former US president, but now the Earth appears to be swaying somewhat under his feet and the feet of the Union.