The Prime Minister is under investigation by the Electoral Commission over the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
The watchdog has said that they are satisfied there “reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred.”
However, Sarah Vine the wife of the Cabinet Minister Michale Gove has defended Johnson and said that he “can’t be expected to live in a skip.”
Vine insists that the Prime Minister must live “to a certain standard” and that it is “perfectly reasonable” for him to want to change the colour of Theresa May’s pink sofa to a different colour.
The Prime Minister has an allocated budget of £30,000 per year to refurbish the Downing Street flat, but the Daily Mail reported the renovation came to an alarming £200,000.
Vine, a Daily Mail columnis told the BBC Radio Four Today programme: “The thing about the whole No 10 refurbishment thing is that the Prime Minister can’t be expected to live in a skip.
“He has to live to a certain standard and the problem with all of these political things like this is that no-one is ever prepared to bite the bullet.
“No-one is ever prepared to say ‘look, this building does need to be maintained, there do need to be decent furnishings, we do need to have a fund that pays for it, let’s just do it’.”
Vine said Johnson is “working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, trying to run the country which is quite a difficult job to do.”
She added, “If he wants to have a pink sofa instead of a green sofa, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing for him to want.”
Michael Gove’s wife admitted that the taxpayer should not fund such work and said a “transparent” arrangement for refurbishment is the way forward.
Vine told Today, “I think if it was just very transparent and simple, and it was a trust or whatever, and it was clear what the situation was and there was a clear budget, say £30,000 a year or whatever it is, or when there’s a new incumbent there’s a one-off payment that enables you to change the curtains, I think that would be very clear and very simple.”
She concluded that this approach would mean “my husband [Michael Gove] wouldn’t have to cancel all his very important NHS procurement meetings on an afternoon to go and answer an urgent question about curtains.”
Leave a Comment