Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

British premier faces questions over cost of holiday getaway

Boris Johnson said that a party donor paid his holiday but businessman denies claims

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces questions about who paid for his holiday after his party's sweeping election victory in December. Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces questions about who paid for his holiday after his party's sweeping election victory in December. Reuters

The British prime minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to reveal who paid for a £15,000 luxury holiday in the Caribbean at the time of the global crisis sparked by the killing of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.

Mr Johnson listed the stay as being paid for by a British telecoms entrepreneur and party donor in an official parliamentary register but the businessman, David Ross, denied paying the cost of the villa in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr Johnson had sought the help of Mr Ross help to find accommodation on the island of Mustique but the businessman insists he did not pay anything towards the rental, the Daily Mail reported.

The holiday came after Mr Johnson’s sweeping victory in national elections in December 2019 but he faced criticisms for failing to cut the trip short following the US military strike that saw tensions spike between the West and Iran.

The Labour-led opposition called on Mr Johnson to provide further details for funding of the trip or face a parliamentary investigation.

“Boris Johnson must come clean about who has paid for his luxury trip," said Jon Trickett, the party's shadow cabinet office minister. “The public deserves to know who is paying for their Prime Minister's jaunts.”

The holiday lasted from December 26 to January 5, according to the parliamentary register, ending two days after the killing of the Iranian general. It led to criticisms from the opposition that he was “sunning himself” while officials dealt with the fallout from the killing.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: "All transparency requirements have been followed, as set out in the register of members' financial interests."

Updated: February 13, 2020 03:43 PM

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