UK politics live: Labour demands investigation over Boris Johnson’s free luxury holiday
In the list of ministers’ interests published today, the member of parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in his capacity as the prime minister declared that in October 2021 he stayed ‘in a holiday home in southern Spain which was provided free of charge by the Goldsmiths’. The prime minister did not declare the value of this gift, but it is reasonable to assume that the value was a significant amount given media outlets have reported that this villa is rented out at a fee of £25,000 per week.
However, he has not declared this gift in the register of members’ interests. This appears to be a breach of the House code of conduct and the rules relating to the conduct of members regarding the declaration and registration of interests and gifts.
You will of course be aware that the last time the member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip enjoyed a free luxury holiday your subsequent report found that ‘Mr Johnson was required under the House’s rules to register the holiday accommodation he received’ and the Committee for Standards agreed with the conclusion, stating that ‘Mr Johnson was required to register the holiday accommodation he received in the register of members’ interests … Mr Johnson was required by the guide to the rules, which has the authority of the House, to register the accommodation’.
It is also worth noting that Lord Goldsmith was given a peerage and a ministerial job by Mr Johnson. The public could understandably draw the conclusion in this case that the prime minister is dishing out cushy jobs to his friends who pay for his luxury holidays.
Given the member of parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has a long history of breaching the rules in relation to parliamentary standards and other integrity and anti-corruption measures, it is my assumption that he will be eager to ensure that he fulfils his obligations under the rules of the House of Commons in this case.
We cannot have a situation where Boris Johnson behaves like it’s one rule for him and another for everyone else. I would be grateful for your guidance on whether this is a breach of the rules, and whether you will investigate the member of parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.