Tory Donor admits he arranged £15,000 holiday for Boris Johnson

13 February 2020, 08:34 | Updated: 13 February 2020, 15:07

Boris Johnson went on holiday following his General Election landslide win
Boris Johnson went on holiday following his General Election landslide win. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Conservative donor who denied paying for Boris Johnson to go on a luxury holiday to the Caribbean with his girlfriend has said he did help arrange it.

According to the MPs' register of interests, the accommodation was paid for by Tory Party donor, David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.

But a spokesman for Mr Ross said: "Following media reports I would like to provide further explanation of the benefit in kind Mr Ross provided to Mr Johnson.

"Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.

"Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson's declaration to the House of Commons is correct."

Mr Johnson and girlfriend Carrie Symonds pictured together
Mr Johnson and girlfriend Carrie Symonds pictured together. Picture: PA

But Labour's shadow minister for the cabinet office, Jon Trickett, who earlier said Mr Johnson "must come clean" about the money, said Mr Ross's statement left left questions unanswered.

In a letter to the standards watchdog, the shadow Cabinet Office minister said: "The code of conduct requires members to provide the name of the person or organisation that actually funded a donation."

He added that "transparency is crucial to ensuring that the public have confidence that elected members of this House have not been unduly influenced by any donations or gifts that they may receive".

The entry in the Common's register of interests said: "Accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000."

A spokesman for the Grimsby-born businessman told the newspaper: "Boris Johnson did not stay in David Ross's house.

"Boris wanted some help to find somewhere in Mustique, David called the company who run all the villas and somebody had dropped out.

"So Boris got the use of a villa that was worth £15,000, but David Ross did not pay any monies whatsoever for this."

The Opposition has called on the PM to provide answers or face an inquiry. Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Jon Trickett said: "Boris Johnson must come clean about who has paid for his luxury trip.

"If he fails to do so, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should step in and make him fess up.

"The public deserves to know who is paying for their Prime Minister’s jaunts."

But in a later clarification, a spokesman for Mr Ross said: "Following media reports, I would like to provide further explanation of the benefit in kind Mr Ross provided to Mr Johnson.

"Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.

"Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson's declaration to the House of Commons is correct."

The private holiday lasted from December 26 to January 5, according to the entry in the register.

A Number 10 spokeswoman confirmed: "All transparency requirements have been followed, as set out in the register of members' financial interests."

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