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Boris Johnson has been charged with corruption after it was revealed that he asked a Conservative contributor for money to renovate his flat while offering to consider ideas for a mysterious “big exhibition.”
Johnson referred to portions of his Downing Street apartment as a “tip” and sought for “approvals” so his décor designer, Lulu Lytle, could “get on with it” in November 2020, according to newly released WhatsApp chats with Tory peer David Brownlow.
He signed off the message by saying: “Ps am on the great exhibition plan Will revert.” Lord Brownlow replied: “Of course, get Lulu to call me and we’ll get it sorted ASAP! Thanks for thinking about GE2.”
Johnson was obliged to issue a “humble and heartfelt” apology on Thursday for failing to provide the texts to his independent ethics adviser during an initial investigation last spring.
Johnson initially told his independent ethics adviser, Christopher Geidt he was unaware Brownlow was sponsoring £58,000 in renovations to his No 11 residence until the full details of the prime minister’s direct request for funds were released on Thursday, “just prior to media reports.”
According to Sir Alistair Graham, a former chair of the committee on standards in public life, the WhatsApp communications demonstrated a “intimacy” between Johnson and Brownlow. “It demonstrates he (Boris) was well aware of what was happening in Downing Street,” he said.
It raises the question of how Johnson could have been unaware that he was paying for the renovation with his own money.