BORIS Johnson has been CLEARED by a sleaze probe into his luxury Christmas 2019 break to Mustique – but had his knuckles rapped for not being completely open about the jaunt.
Parliament’s standards committee today ruled that the PM didn’t breach strict rules forcing MPs to declare all the gifts they receive.
Mr Johnson had declared that Carphone Warehouse tycoon David Ross had paid for the £15,000 trip he and Carrie took to the Caribbean island following his landslide 2019 election triumph.
But the trip quickly became mired in mystery when Mr Ross insisted he hadn’t paid for the trip – only to then say he had “facilitated the accommodation”.
Yet the Committee on Standard’s this morning published their report and accepted the PM was right to list Mr Ross as the benefactor.
They found that Mr Ross had made a deal whereby Mr Johnson would stay in another house – not Mr Ross’ – and in return Mr Ross would give that third party his villa.
The report said: “We conclude that Mr Ross was the donor of Mr. Johnson’s holiday accommodation, through an informal arrangement with the Mustique company, whereby the Mustique company paid the Richardson’s for Mr Johnson stay and Mr Ross would provide his villa, to the Mustique company for free in recompense.
“We therefore find that Mr. Johnson’s register entries, accurate and complete. And we find no breach by Mr Johnson at paragraph 14 of the code.”
But the standards committee – chaired by Labour MP Chris Bryant – slapped the PM on the wrist for not making this arrangement clear right away.
Although acknowledging the deal does “not appear to have been fully explained” to the PM, it scolds him for dithering.
It says: “It is unsatisfactory that neither Mr Ross nor Mr Johnson explained the arrangement to the commissioner until last water, and that Mr Ross only provided minimal information on the arrangement this spring.”
It adds: “Mr Johnson has stated himself that this is regrettable that information has been provided to the commissioner in stages.
“This matter could have been concluded many months ago if more strenuous efforts have been made to dispel the uncertainty.
“Given that Mr Johnson was twice reprimanded by our predecessor committee in the last parliament in the space of four months for an over casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the house, we would have expected him to have gone the extra mile to ensure there was no uncertainty about the arrangements.”
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