It seems likely, doesn’t it?
After obviously-guilty Owen Paterson was threatened with 30 days’ suspension from Parliament for paid lobbying (firms employed him to get government contracts for them), Boris Johnson intervened to have the suspension overturned and called the work of Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone into doubt.
He wanted to push Ms Stone into resigning her position, making it easier for him to end the current Parliamentary standards system – that has been running since 1695 – and replace it with a new regime in which Tory MPs get to mark their own homework (so to speak).
It didn’t work. She didn’t resign and none of the other political parties in Parliament supported his plan to change the system. Now questions are being asked about Johnson’s reasons for attacking the Standards Commissioner, and the system:
I’m sure Boris Johnson’s full-blooded support for getting rid of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has nothing to do with the fact that she will shortly be deciding whether to investigate him for alleged rule breaches…
— Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP (@BellRibeiroAddy) November 4, 2021
I’m not sure what breaches Ms Ribeiro-Addy is referencing. Is it the funding required to redecorate Johnson’s Downing Street flat? Dominic Cummings seems to think so:
While Dominic Cummings also claimed the Owen Paterson vote was to ‘cover up PM’s illegal donations’
— i newspaper (@theipaper) November 4, 2021
Well, it may not matter too much as Johnson may soon face investigation over his latest holiday:
Deputy Labour leader @AngelaRayner has written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone to ask whether the PM has broken the rules by failing to declare the value of his holiday in Spain last month in the MPs’ register of financial interests. pic.twitter.com/nVs5hPS4mI
— Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) November 5, 2021
The allegation is explored in detail here:
Boris Johnson enjoyed a free holiday thanks to the multi-millionaire failed London mayoral candidate Lord Goldsmith, who he made a peer https://t.co/3s99EbkLKY
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 4, 2021
It seems that, after Zac Goldsmith failed in his attempt to become London Mayor (partially because it was spectacularly Islamophobic, if I’m not mistaken), Johnson had him ennobled (made him a Lord).
Then, Goldsmith offered Johnson the use of his villa in Marbella, just after this year’s Budget speech – a donation to the prime minister worth (allegedly) around £25,000.
And Johnson hasn’t declared it.
That’s what Angela Rayner’s letter (above) says and she has asked Ms Stone to investigate.
The allegation here is that Johnson wanted to end Ms Stone’s job so she would not be able to.
Obviously with the failure of the bid to oust her (if there really was one), she will be able to investigate this alleged breach of Parliamentary rules by the prime minister. I hope she does.
The real question is, what will the prime minister do about it?
Is he really to suggest that she has already made up her mind, again?
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