Boris Johnson declares £ 1,800 hospitality at Heathrow amid Spanish holiday | Boris Johnson

Another detail of Boris Johnson’s largely free vacation to southern Spain last month emerged after the Prime Minister declared £ 1,800 of hospitality from Heathrow.

The declaration was made in the last update of the register of interests of deputies, where donations or other gifts must be indicated, with their value. Johnson used the Windsor Suite at Heathrow Terminal 5 on October 7, while en route to Malaga.

The Windsor Suite is described by the airport as a collection of eight “unique and beautifully decorated private lounges”. Johnson has declared its use for three people, for a total value of £ 1,800.

While Johnson was previously a vehement opponent of extending Heathrow to a third runway – he has already vowed to stop it by lying in front of bulldozers – he opted to travel to Kabul in order to miss a vote in the House of Commons which approved the plan in 2018, when he was foreign minister under Theresa May.

Johnson, after being elected to his seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, which is close to West London Airport, told his supporters: “I’m going to lie down with you in front of these bulldozers and stop the building. , stop the construction of this third track. “

Downing Street said Johnson, his wife Carrie and their one-year-old son Wilfred had taken a commercial flight to Spain. Once there, they stayed for free in a luxury villa in Marbella owned by the Goldsmith family.

While the villa is rented commercially for around £ 25,000 per week, this use of the villa has not been entered in the Members’ Interest Register, meaning Johnson did not have to officially declare its value.

Downing Street has confirmed that the vacation was offered free of charge by the family of Zac Goldsmith, the former Tory MP who, after losing his seat in the 2019 election, was made a peer and environment minister by Johnson.

Rather, the stay was entered by the Prime Minister in the register of ministerial interests, which is updated less regularly, and does not cite monetary values. Downing Street said this was the correct way to record the free stay, “as the hospitality was provided by another minister”.

However, there is speculation that Johnson seeks to set a precedent that the costs and obligations incurred as Prime Minister fall within the purview of Lord Geidt, the Ministerial Interests Advisor, who does not have the authority to ‘unilaterally initiate investigations, rather than Kathryn Stone. , the independent parliamentary commissioner for standards.

Last week, Downing Street also argued that Stone should not investigate who paid for the renovation of Johnson’s official apartment, as it was unrelated to his role as an MP, prompting Labor to warn that the Prime Minister was trying to escape scrutiny.

As a minister, Johnson’s opportunity to earn additional income is severely limited. When he was a backbench MP he was paid almost £ 23,000 a month by the Daily Telegraph to write a column and regularly took speaking engagements paying tens of thousands of pounds.


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Edward L. Robinett