Downing Street flat: Standards adviser unhappy but not resigning at this stage, BBC toldon December 10, 2021 at 2:36 pm

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Lord Geidt is facing calls to reopen an inquiry into how the prime minister paid for a flat revamp.

Downing Street

Image source, Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s standards adviser is unhappy but not quitting at this stage, the BBC has been told, amid claims the prime minister lied to him.

Lord Geidt is facing calls to re-open an investigation into Mr Johnson, after new information emerged, which Labour says contradicts what the PM told him.

Downing Street says it will answer any questions the adviser might have.

The row centres on how a refurbishment of the prime minister’s Downing Street flat was funded.

In May, Lord Geidt cleared the prime minister of a conflict of interest, after it emerged that Conservative peer Lord Brownlow had donated £52,000 to help cover the costs.

He said the prime minister appeared not to be aware Lord Brownlow had contributed from his own pocket.

On Thursday, the Electoral Commission said in a report that Mr Johnson had sent a WhatsApp message to Lord Brownlow in November 2020 to ask for extra money.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Johnson should explain “why he lied to the British public”.

Downing Street argued that the prime minster was “not aware of the underlying details” of Lord Brownlow’s donations, when asked about the apparent discrepancy between what he told Lord Geidt and what the Electoral Commission has said.

Mr Johnson thought Lord Brownlow was overseeing the money, but he did not realise the peer was providing the money, as it was organised via a blind trust, his spokesman said.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, a No 10 spokesperson denied Mr Johnson had lied and insisted he had acted “in accordance with the rules”… and made all necessary declarations”.

Downing Street he would get access to any information he needed.

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