United Kingdom opposition calls for probe into PM's flat refurbishment

United Kingdom opposition calls for probe into PM's flat refurbishment”

Dominic Cummings, who left Johnson's staff suddenly late previous year having been his most influential adviser on Brexit and the 2019 election campaign, said in a blog on Friday he had told Johnson he thought his plans to have donors pay for the renovation were "unethical, foolish, possibly illegal".

Simon Case, Britain's most senior civil servant, is to be questioned by lawmakers later on Monday over the allegations against Johnson, his ministers and officials, which Downing Street has dismissed as false. Opposition parties have picked up on the allegations ahead of local elections next month.

Ministers have denied claims that Boris Johnson was prepared to let "bodies pile high" rather than order another coronavirus lockdown, as the fallout from Downing Street's bitter briefing war continued.

His blog post capped a hard few days for Johnson, following the resignation of defense minister Johnny Mercer who told Times Radio the government was "the most distrustful, bad environment I've ever worked in".

"The stench of sleaze coming from the Conservatives is overwhelming", Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said in an emailed statement.

"It is about integrity".

"It's not true - it's been categorically denied by practically everyone", Wallace told Sky when asked about the reported remark, adding that Johnson was focused on the Covid response. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".

The shadow education secretary told the Today programme: "I'm glad they (the Electoral Commission) are looking into it because clearly these are very troubling allegations and they go to the heart of ethics and integrity in our Government, and transparency".

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Mr Cummings is widely known to have been critical of Mr Johnson's delay in launching a second lockdown in England when cases began rising last autumn and there is speculation he will seek to blame him for the high death toll.

The Electoral Commission, which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the United Kingdom, has said it is still seeking answers from the Conservative Party over whether any sums should have been declared under the law on political donations.

Asked Friday by Britain's LBC radio station if he had tried to block the leak inquiry, the prime minister replied, "No, of course not".

On Friday, Johnson's office said the PM did not interfere in a government leak inquiry.

Cummings, architect of the Brexit campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, left Johnson's staff suddenly late last year having previously been his most influential adviser over Brexit and a 2019 election campaign.

Dominic Cummings, shown leaving his London home last month, played a key role in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

Rows involving lobbying by former prime minister David Cameron on behalf of Greensill, the revolving door between business and government, and claims that lucrative contracts were awarded to firms during the pandemic without proper scrutiny have deflected attention from the country's vaccination progress.

Cummings said he will answer questions about any of the issues he has raised when he appears before lawmakers on May 26.

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