PM ‘broke law’ if he failed to declare flat donation within one month
Boris Johnson reportedly told aides the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat was costing “tens of thousands” of pounds and that he could not afford it.
Pressure has been building on the prime minister to answer how the renovations were paid for following revelations from his former adviser Dominic Cummings.
Mr Johnson told colleagues the bill for the flat was escalating out of control, while his chief of staff Dan Rosenfield felt the refurbishment was a “crazy arrangement”, The Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile the EU has voted to ratify Mr Johnson’s Brexit trade deal. European Council president Charles Michel said the approval of the deal “marks a major step forward” in UK-EU relations and “opens a new era.”
Dyson denies trying to ‘extract favours’ from PM
Sir James Dyson said suggestions he was attempting to “extract favours” from Boris Johnson is “completely untrue”.
The billionaire inventor was embroiled in a lobbying row after Mr Johnson reportedly promised Sir James he would “fix” an issue over the tax status of his employees after he was directly lobbied by the entrepreneur.
The exchanges, carried by the BBC, took place last March at the start of the pandemic when the Government was appealing to firms to supply ventilators amid fears the NHS could run out.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Sir James said: “(The) characterisation of me as a prominent Conservative donor, or supporter, leveraging a position of power to extract favours from the Prime Minister, is completely untrue.
“I would change nothing about how Dyson reacted to this country’s Covid crisis. And you need only look at the UK’s vaccine programme to understand the value of independent action which can be swift, decisive and transcend global boundaries.
“Thousands of companies and millions of individuals have gone above and beyond in responding to this crisis. This should not be diminished by politically motivated mud-slinging after the event.”
Joe Middleton28 April 2021 08:43
European Parliament overwhelmingly votes to ratify Brexit deal
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to ratify the Brexit trade deal in an early morning vote in Brussels.
MEPs backed the agreement by 660 votes in favour to five against, with 32 abstentions.
The Independent’s policy correspondent Jon Stone has the latest on this breaking story
Joe Middleton28 April 2021 08:25
Government lacks ‘clear vision’ for how taxes could help UK reach net zero, MPs warn
The government’s understanding of how taxes could help Britain reach its climate goals is marred by a “lack of leadership and coordination”, MPs have warned.
A stark report from the Public Accounts Committee said that the Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs have no “clear vision” of how taxes could help the UK meet its legal target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Independent’s climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports
Joe Middleton28 April 2021 08:13
Johnson told aides he ‘could not afford’ flat renovation
Boris Johnson reportedly told aides he could not afford the revamp of his Downing Street flat as the costs started to spiral.
Scrutiny on the Prime Minister over the refurbishment of his No 11 flat has refused to abate despite Downing Street’s efforts to draw a line under the issue.
The Daily Mail alleged Mr Johnson told colleagues the bill was escalating out of control, while his chief of staff Dan Rosenfield felt the refurbishment was a “crazy arrangement” and a “mess”.
The newspaper said when aides asked the Prime Minister how much the upgrades were costing, Mr Johnson replied: “Tens and tens of thousands – I can’t afford it.”
The Conservative Party leader has faced a flurry of questions regarding how the revamp was paid for following a fallout with former aide Dominic Cummings.
When pressed by reporters on Tuesday, No 10 declined to deny suggestions that the Prime Minister received a loan from the Conservative Party to cover the initial costs, before repaying the party.
Joe Middleton28 April 2021 08:02
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Joe Middleton28 April 2021 08:00