British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced more accusations on Sunday of spending on renovating his apartment and caring for children for his young son, which his foreign minister dismissed as unfounded gossip.
Johnson has repeatedly experienced blunders, Brexit crises and revelations about his adultery, but the revelation that he and his fiancée Carrie Symonds spent a lavish time remodeling their residence with a royal-proposed designer has been nerve-wracking.
Johnson has repeatedly said he paid for the renovation of his apartment on Downing Street, but the Electoral Commission says he has reason to suspect that a crime was committed in financing the work.
The Sunday Times said the total cost of the work was about £ 200,000 ($ 276,000) and that an invoice had been settled directly by a Conservative party donor – in-kind compensation that would have to be declared to the tax authorities.
The paper also reported that a Conservative party donor had been asked to pay a babysitter for Johnson’s youngest son, Wilfred.
“I don’t mind paying for leaflets, but I’m outraged that I was asked to pay to literally erase the bottom of the prime minister’s baby,” said the unidentified donor.
Johnson’s office on Downing Street does not deal with reported repair costs, but a statement said: “The Prime Minister has covered the cost of all childcare.”
The Conservative Party declined to comment on the report.
“NAME OF CONVERSATION”
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab declined to say directly who originally paid for the work, saying he had “no idea” whether a donor had been asked to pay for Johnson’s children.
“The last issue you asked about is an example of petty riots,” Raab told Sky TV. He said Johnson was “crystal clear” about the cost of renovating the apartment.
Ahead of Thursday’s local election in much of Britain, some opinion polls suggest Johnson’s ratings have fallen. His party is also facing by-elections in Hartlepool, Northern England, which the opposition Labor Party has controlled for decades.
Similar is the rumor about the cost of renovating Downing Street that last week Johnson even expressed his “love” for John Lewis, a retailer adored by millions of British voters.
Tatler magazine quoted an unidentified source as saying the work had improved the apartment after a “John Louis furniture nightmare” inherited from former Prime Minister Theresa May.
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