What’s happening with #LordGeidt’s re-investigation of #DowningStreetRefurbishment ?

Lord Geidt: he may not look angry in this image but he’s probably raging on the inside.

It’s been a while since a furious Lord Geidt announced he was reopening his investigation into the funding of Boris Johnson’s redecoration of the 11 Downing Street flat that is his official residence. But what’s happening with it? Anything?

Geidt was angry because it was revealed earlier this month that Johnson had lied to him, meaning his investigation had cleared the prime minister in error.

I wrote:

What actually happened, it seems, was this:

Johnson wanted to redecorate the flat but his tastes ran to much more expense than the £30,000 per year annual allowance he receives for this purpose.

The Conservative Party then received a donation for £67,801.72 from Brownlow’s firm Huntswood Associates Ltd – but declared only £15,000 of it as a donation. The rest went towards the flat redecoration via a payment from the Tory Party to the Cabinet Office.

This, plus the £30k allowance, was still not enough so Johnson WhatsApp’ed Brownlow for more on November 29, 2020, leading to a further payment direct to contractors of £59,747.40.

The Tories said the £53k they didn’t declare was not a donation, but was in fact “a donation to the Prime Minister via the party”, or “a ‘gift to the nation’”, or “a ministerial matter”, or “the repayment of a loan”.

But the Electoral Commission disagreed, saying the full amount “was a donation and should have been reported to the Commission”; the party’s records of the £53k sum were “not accurate”; and there were “serious failings in the party’s compliance systems”.

As a result, the Conservative Party has been fined £17,800 for failing to comply with electoral law. See information here and here for more details.

That covers the money that went through the Conservative Party but not the extra cash that Brownlow put up himself.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

Johnson said at the time of the original investigation that he had not known the source of the money until February this year, when the evidence now shows he knew in November 2020.

All the information about the case is available and it shouldn’t have taken Lord Geidt long to come to a new decision.

So what is it?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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