Labour is planning on forcing a senior minister before parliament this week to account for the growing sleaze crisis around No 10.
Labour is hoping to persuade the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, to grant an urgent question on Monday that would mean a senior minister – most likely to be Michael Gove – to be summoned to the Commons to account for the crisis, explain steps being taken to end it, and take questions from MPs.
Demands grew on Saturday after Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings made a string of allegations about his former boss, one claim being that he had been planning an “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal” plan to get Tory donors to secretly fund the refurbishment of the No 11 flat where Johnson lives with his fiancee and child.
The government has since claimed Johnson himself paid the £58,000 bill, but it is still not clear whether he paid directly, or received a loan from the party or a donor.
Labour has also raised the question of whether the correct tax has been paid on the refurbishments and any potential gifts.
In a letter to the prime minister, the shadow cabinet office minister Rachel Reeves said: “Any external financial aid to a prime minister’s lifestyle must be fully declared at the time and, as the ministerial code makes clear, real and perceived conflicts of interest must be avoided.”
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said a full public inquiry was required: “The stench of sleaze that is surrounding this Tory government is becoming quite overpowering. There are very serious allegations being levelled at Boris Johnson and his government, including by people who worked closely inside it. As someone who has recently been subject to far-reaching inquiries and scrutiny, I say a thorough investigation is needed here, given the range and seriousness of the allegations.”
Her party is calling for all of Johnson’s email, text, and call records to be made available for investigation.
The opposition parties are now hell-bent on increasing the pressure on Johnson and the Tories, with less than two weeks before local elections in England, and elections to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments.
Source: The Guardian