Wednesday 30 September 2020

Johnson urged to clarify who paid for Caribbean holiday trip

- Posted on 13 February 2020

LONDON, FEB 13 : The UK’s main opposition Labour Party has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to clarify who paid for his Caribbean holiday over the New Year, after it was revealed that a businessman covered the expenses, a media report said on Thursday.

Johnson took the holiday to St Vincent and the Grenadines with girlfriend Carrie Symonds between Boxing Day 2019 and January 5, 2020, the BBC reported.

Labour’s shadow minister for the cabinet office, Jon Trickett, said on Thursday that Johnson “must come clean” about the money, adding that if he does not, Parliament’s standards watchdog “should step in”.

“The public deserves to know who is paying for their prime minister’s jaunts,” Trickett added.

According to the MPs’ register of interests, the accommodation, which cost 15,000 pounds, was covered by David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.

The entry in Johnson’s register of interests said that Ross donated accommodation “for a private holiday for my partner and me, value 15,000 pounds”.

Downing Street has also said that the trip had been properly registered.

But a spokesman of Ross told the Daily Mail he did not pay for the stay and only helped arrange it.

“Boris wanted some help to find somewhere in Mustique, David called the company who run all the villas and somebody had dropped out. So Boris got the use of a villa that was worth 15,000 pounds, but David Ross did not pay any monies whatsoever for this,” the spokesman added.

Ross was one of Johnson’s aides in City Hall and was appointed to the Olympics organising committee, said the BBC report.

But he resigned from the roles, and his company, over a share scandal in 2008.

Ross has also been a long-standing donor to the Conservative Party, pledging 250,000 pounds in the last election campaign.

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