The Prime Minister is under more political pressure on Thursday as he has been accused of misleading an investigation into a donation for his Downing Street refurbishments, as he asked a Tory donor “for more money.”
Tory peer Lord Brownlow to help cover the costly renovations to No.11 Downing Street, and the Electoral Commission has fined the Conservative Party £17,800 over the donation.
Lord Brownlow, has donated almost £3m to the Conservatives and served as vice-chairman of the party between July 2017 and July 2020, he also estimated to be worth around £271m.
The Electoral Commissions said the Tory Party failed to “accurately report a donation and keep a proper accounting record” of the donation given by Brownlow in October 2020.
Ministerial standards adviser Lord Geidt was told by Boris Johnson that he did not know who was behind the flat refurbishment until February 2021.
However, the Electoral Commission saw concrete evidence that Johnson had sent Lord Brownlow a WhatsApp message in November 2020 .
The Prime Minister asked Lord Brownlow “to authorise further, at that stage unspecified, refurbishment works on the residence,” to which the perr agreed.
Should Lord Geidt say that he was lied to, then there could be even more significant pressure for Johnson to resign, as more and more sleaze is being uncovered.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said Johnson must now explain why he “lied” by saying he did not know who was behind the payment to the Electoral Commission.
Rayner said, “It is right that the Electoral Commission has fined the Conservative Party but the prime minister must now explain why he lied to the British public saying he didn’t know who was behind No 11 flat refurb, all the while he was WhatsApping the donor asking for more money.
“Boris Johnson has taken the British public for fools.
“He’s not only broken the law, but made a mockery of the standards we expect from our Prime Ministers.”
Labour MP Liz Twist said the report was “yet another example of this government not wanting play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Shadow Business Minister Bill Esterton said Johnson must “explain why he lied to the British public.”
The commission report added, “The party also made statements to the commission which were not supported by the evidence subsequently obtained.”
The investigation found that the Conservative Party had failed to fully report a donation of £67,801.72 from Huntswood Associates Limited, whose director is Lord Brownlow, in October 2020, including £52,801.72 connected to the costs of the No.11 flat refurbishment.
A party spokesman said, “We have been in constant contact with the Electoral Commission with regards to this matter and have sought their advice as to how the transaction should be reported since it was made.”