Boris apologises to standards adviser over Downing Street flat message

Boris makes grovelling apology to his standards adviser after blaming NEW PHONE for failing to hand over WhatsApps about Downing Street flat refurb

Boris Johnson has made a grovelling apology to his standards adviser after apparently failing to disclose key messages during a probe into the Downing Street flat refurb.

Lord Geidt is said to have been furious when an Electoral Commission probe revealed that the PM personally WhatsApped a Tory donor about funding for the overhaul.

The peer had previously cleared Mr Johnson of breaching the ministerial code, but looked again at the issue after the commission’s report. 

The PM has blamed having to change his phone after his number was made public in a security bungle for the failure to flag the message to Lord Brownlow asking for more works to be authorised.

The standards adviser is understood to have concluded that the new information does not fundamentally change his conclusion, but is highly critical of the latest oversight. 

Boris Johnson (pictured today) has made a ‘humble and sincere’ apology to his standards adviser after apparently failing to disclose key messages during a probe into the Downing Street flat refurb

Lord Geidt is said to have been furious when an Electoral Commission probe revealed that the PM personally WhatsApped a Tory donor about funding for the overhaul.

The PM’s grace-and-favour flat was decorated with the help of Lulu Lytle (file picture does not show the flat itself) 

The correspondence between Lord Geidt and Mr Johnson is expected to be published shortly.

The peer previously cleared Mr Johnson of breaching the code in relation to the funding of the flat refurbishment but has re-examined his initial investigation in the wake of the Electoral Commission probe.

The PM had assured Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, that he did not know who was paying for the £112,549 refurbishment until this year.

But the electoral watchdog uncovered evidence that Mr Johnson sent WhatsApp messages asking Lord Brownlow to sign off works months earlier. 

In the light of the revelations, Lord Geidt wrote to Mr Johnson asking him to explain the apparent contradiction.

It is understood their exchanges include ‘three to four letters’. 

As opposed to sanctions, Mr Johnson and Lord Geidt are thought to have agreed to reform the system for oversight of ministerial interests to include more resources for the relevant secretariat in the Cabinet Office. 

One official said last month: ‘Geidt makes clear the situation is a total mess. But at the same time the fundamental conclusion is that the PM did not deceive and did not break the ministerial code.’

Mr Johnson is said to have apologised for the handling of the initial inquiry into the loan of £58,000 from Lord Brownlow.

Source: Read Full Article