Boris Johnson has issued a ‘humble’ apology for his Whatsapp messages to a donor regarding a flat renovation.
BORIS Johnson issued a “humble” apology after failing to disclose messages to a donor during an investigation into the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
After secret Whatsapp exchanges were discovered, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was reprimanded by standards chief Lord Geidt.
The adviser said in a letter to Mr Johnson that the texts to Tory donor Lord Brownlow were “plainly unsatisfactory” and that the incident “shook his confidence.”
The messages were revealed in a separate investigation by the elections watchdog into how the No 11 flat renovation was paid for.
Lord Geidt said the new information would not have changed the outcome of his own investigation last year, which found Mr Johnson was not in violation of the ministerial code of conduct.
However, the ministerial standards adviser stated that he would have asked more questions and that his conclusion would most likely have been qualified.
Mr Johnson issued a “humble and sincere apology” in response to Lord Geidt in a letter.
The messages were sent from a previous phone that the PM stopped using after a security breach, and he “did not recall the message exchange,” according to the PM.
“A fuller explanation of the circumstances should have been provided at the time of your investigation,” Mr Johnson acknowledged.
I apologize for not doing so.”
Lord Brownlow was tasked with establishing a charitable trust to fund the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, but the plan was eventually abandoned.
The Electoral Commission discovered that Huntswood Associates, whose director is Lord Brownlow, paid a total of £112,549.12 to cover the work of luxury firm Soane Britain, which is owned by interior designer Lulu Lytle.
The Prime Minister assured Lord Geidt that he was unaware of the payments until media reports surfaced in February 2021.
Mr Johnson sent Lord Brownlow a WhatsApp message on November 29, 2020, saying, “I’m afraid parts of our flat are still a bit of a tip and am keen to allow Lulu Lytle to get on with it.”
Is it possible for me to ask her to contact you for approvals?”
“Of course, get Lulu to call me and we’ll sort it out as soon as possible!” Lord Brownlow replied.
“I should have said, because the trust isn’t up and running yet (it will be in January), approval is a breeze because it’s just me,” he continued.
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