Questions over Boris Johnson's £15,000 Caribbean holiday gift from wealthy businessman

PUBLISHED: 08:17 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:23 13 February 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Questions have been raised about Boris Johnson's Caribbean holiday over the Christmas break after it was revealed it was gifted by a business tycoon.

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The prime minister and girlfriend Carrie Symonds accepted accommodation for a private holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It provided Johnson with a break after the election campaign which saw him win a Conservative landslide.

At the time Johnson and Symonds went on holiday, it was reported they were visiting the private island Mustique.

The details were recorded in Johnson's entry in the Commons' register of members' interests.

The gift appeared to be from David Ross, a Tory donor who co-founded the Carphone Warehouse chain.

But Ross denied paying for the holiday, with a spokesperson telling national newspapers: "I believe it is a mistake."

They said: "Boris Johnson did not stay in David Ross's house.

"Boris wanted some help to find somewhere in Mustique, David called the company who run all the villas and somebody had dropped out.

"So Boris got the use of a villa that was worth £15,000, but David Ross did not pay any monies whatsoever for this."

Under the heading "nature and value of benefit in kind (or amount of any donation)", Johnson's entry in the register stated: "Accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000."

The private holiday lasted from December 26 to January 5, according to the entry in the register.

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

Shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said: "Boris Johnson must come clean about who has paid for his luxury trip.

"If he fails to do so, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should step in and make him fess up.

"The public deserves to know who is paying for their prime minister's jaunts."

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