Boris Johnson is deeply protecting of his private life – however one factor nearly universally acknowledged by those that know him is that he has a difficult relationship with cash.
It got here as little shock to them, due to this fact, that he was alleged to have secretly secured an as much as £800,000 mortgage assure whereas prime minister.
“He used to say he was by no means being paid sufficient,” one supply who labored in No 10 underneath Johnson recalled. “He was so extremely tight with cash, jokes had been made if his pockets ever got here out.”
One other described him as a “wheeler-dealer”, and claimed that on the time, workers in Downing Avenue felt there have been some “fairly ridiculous preparations occurring” to fund his life-style – referring to the best way Johnson’s flat redecoration was initially funded earlier than he repaid the prices personally.
The credit score facility mortgage is claimed to have been assured by a distant Canadian cousin of Johnson, launched to the cupboard secretary, Simon Case, by Richard Sharp simply earlier than he was recruited because the BBC’s chairman.
It solely got here to gentle on the weekend after a report within the Sunday Occasions. However Johnson’s monetary reliance on others stretches again a few years.
When the redecoration of the Downing Avenue flat the place he lived along with his spouse, Carrie, and their kids was underneath manner, among the funding initially got here from a Conservative peer, David Brownlow.
Brownlow offered £58,000 to cowl a part of the invoice for the lavish inside design makeover, earlier than Johnson paid all the prices after the association emerged.
“I could not perceive why they needed to have such costly wallpaper,” sighed a cupboard minister who served underneath Johnson, speaking concerning the alleged price of £840 a roll.
Caroline Slocock, a former personal secretary to Margaret Thatcher, stated the previous prime minister was way more frugal when it got here to spending cash than Johnson – together with on the Downing Avenue flat.
“Thatcher paid for her personal ironing board, and declined two further units of taxpayer-funded bedsheets as a result of she was not solely naturally thrifty, but additionally very involved concerning the optics,” Slocock stated.
Johnson’s credit score facility and the dearth of any earlier declaration about it are proof of a “constitutional gap” whereby some presents, donations and monetary assist must be recorded publicly and others don’t, Slocock stated.
She added: “There might be there’s nothing improper with this stuff however it’s the notion is not it? The secrecy makes it worse.”
In addition to the flat redesign, Johnson can also be believed to have incurred excessive prices from an costly divorce from his ex-wife, Marina Wheeler. If his a minimum of seven kids have benefited from pricey personal education, that would even have rapidly added as much as six-figure sums.
A spokesperson for Johnson denied he used the mortgage facility to pay again the refurbishment, or drew on it to assist different points of his life-style, together with nannies and college charges, as a substitute saying he met all bills personally.
Johnson has recurrently been supplied monetary assist, whether or not that be by way of free holidays or lodging.
Among the many most beneficiant benefactors are Lord and Woman Bamford, of the development gear producer JCB. They lined £23,000 value of his marriage ceremony celebration – from the rent of a marquee to moveable bathrooms, flowers and an ice-cream van.
The register of members’ pursuits reveals the pair have, between them, given presents and hospitality value an estimated £84,000 since Johnson stated he would stand down as prime minister.
Individually, he was given a Caribbean vacation value a minimum of £15,000 recent after successful the 2019 common election. The journey was “facilitated” by David Ross, a Tory donor and co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, however an investigation was launched into it by the requirements commissioner when it emerged the villa he stayed at was owned by Sarah Richardson, a US financier.
Johnson was hardly residing on the breadline when he was PM, nonetheless. In addition to being entitled to a £164,080 wage, he’s reported to have rented out two properties – in Camberwell, south London, and Thame, Oxfordshire.
He additionally earned 1000’s from his books, and was paid handsomely for a Day by day Telegraph column to the tune of £22,900 for 10 hours’ work monthly within the yr main as much as his stint in No 10.
As a former prime minister, Johnson additionally will get an allowance of as much as £115,000. The Liberal Democrats have launched a bid to attempt to deny him entry to it till he “comes clear” concerning the newest loans.
The celebration’s chief whip, Wendy Chamberlain, defined the rationale, saying: “We all know he is solely all in favour of following the cash, so it is time to hit him the place it hurts – his pockets.”
In addition to making profitable speeches since leaving workplace, Johnson additionally acquired a donation of £1m from a Thai-based British businessman – one of many greatest ever recorded to a person UK politician.
Johnson dismissed questions concerning the credit score facility when questioned by journalists outdoors his residence on Monday, and has denied any battle of curiosity in Sharp’s involvement coming simply earlier than he was appointed to a prime job on the BBC.
Sharp himself stated he was not concerned in guaranteeing or arranging a mortgage and that he believes he was appointed on advantage.
A spokesperson for Johnson additionally stated Sharp had “by no means given any monetary recommendation” to him, and denied Johnson had “sought any monetary recommendation from him”.
They added that each one Johnson’s monetary preparations had been “correctly declared and registered on the recommendation of officers”.