Why is Boris accused of breaching the ministerial code by using a taxpayer-funded private jet?
Following a journey he took during the Hartlepool by-election earlier this year, BORIS JOHNSON has been accused of breaking the ministerial code. Why has Boris Johnson been accused of violating the ministerial code of conduct?
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is said to have flown from Stansted to Teeside, a distance of 312 miles, to campaign in the historic by-election. The taxpayer-funded trip on April 1 was made to promote his minimum wage legislation, which falls under the purview of government business. Mr Johnson, on the other hand, traveled to Hartlepool to campaign alongside now-MP Jill Mortimer for the unexpected victory.
He accompanied Ms Mortimer to Hart Biologicals before joining local party members door-to-door canvassing in the seat, which is not considered as official government activity.
By-election transportation expenditures must be declared, according to the Electoral Commission.
“Where a visit includes a mix of political and official engagements, it is necessary that the department and the party each meet a proportionate amount of the real cost,” the ministerial code adds.
On Monday evening, the Conservatives conceded that the expense of the travel was covered by the taxpayer, but said that Mr Johnson had only flown the plane for legitimate government work.
Labour has demanded an investigation against the Prime Minister, even accusing him of breaching the law.
“False election returns or the failure to declare election spending is a criminal offence,” added Deputy Leader Angela Rayner.
By law, candidates can only spend £100,000 on a by-election campaign.
According to Business Insider, the Conservative Party’s campaign spending return was £87,000. There were no flights announced in this.
“All relevant costs have been duly accounted for and suitably proportioned,” a representative for No 10 said.
“Government rules and election procedures were respected at all times.”
This isn’t the first time the current government has been accused of breaking the ministerial code.
Mr Johnson was previously accused of breaking the ministerial code when he went on vacation to Mustique and stayed in a villa paid for by David Ross, a prominent Tory donor; however, he was cleared of the charge.
In a long saga over the remodeling of his Downing Street flat, the Prime Minister was also examined by the Electoral Commission.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” No. 10.