Boris Johnson deflects Electoral Commission probe into flat makeover: ‘Matter for the Conservative Party’

Boris Johnson deflects Electoral Commission probe into flat makeover: ‘Matter for the Conservative Party’

Boris Johnson is insisting he is not personally in the frame for possible “offences” in the funding of his lavish flat makeover, after a watchdog launched an investigation.

Downing Street said the prime minister would cooperate with the Electoral Commission’s inquiry, but added: “This is a specific matter for the Conservative Party.”

The comment comes despite an expert warning that politicians must quickly declare any gifts or loans that “benefits them in connection with any political activities”.

“The person who has to report is the donee, the money to whom the money is given or loaned,” Professor David Howarth, a former Electoral Commissioner, said this week.

But – after Mr Johnson was accused of being “mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal” at a stormy prime minister’s questions – his press secretary played down the possible consequences for him.

The party would “provide all necessary information to assist the Commission,” she said, repeating that it was “a matter for the Conservative Party as a political party”.

However, the press secretary – asked if that meant Mr Johnson was “in the clear” – acknowledged: “I’m not sure that there’s anything on that yet.”

And asked whether the Commission had contacted the prime minister to say he wasn’t under investigation, she replied: “I don’t think I’ve seen any correspondence yet.”

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