No further inquiry over Boris Johnson’s flat refurb – follow live


Michael Gove misses BBC interview slot after getting stuck in lift

Boris Johnson will not face further inquiry over his controversial flat refurbishment, Downing Street said.

In a letter, Kathryn Stone, who oversees the code of conduct and rules for MPs, told the prime minister she will not launch a fresh inquiry into the refurbishment, which cost approximately £112,000, paid in part by donations from Lord Brownlow.

It is believed that she agrees with No 10’s view that the declaration of the funding arrangements for the refurbishment fall under the ministerial code – and not Mr Johnson’s declarations to parliament.

Meanwhile, the PM has also refused to say whether he attended an alleged drinking session in Downing Street’s garden during the first Covid lockdown.

According to The Sunday Times, the prime minister and his wife Carrie were among those who attended a ‘bring your own bottle’ bash on 20 May 2020.

Asked on Monday if he and Carrie attended, Mr Johnson said: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

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Spokesman ‘doesn’t recognise characterisation’ of Dan Rosenfield

Downing Street today faced questions about the alleged behaviour of the prime minister’s chief of staff who was reported by The Sunday Times to have driven various female staff to quit.

Dan Rosenfield, who was appointed by Mr Johnson, allegedly ordered the women buy sandwiches for his lunch, to collect his dry-cleaning and to buy presents for him.

Asked if the report was true, the spokesman said: “I absolutely don’t recognise that characterisation” – a form of words chosen that stops short of calling the claims untrue.

Ella Glover10 January 2022 13:25

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Students want to be Covid-safe but the government keeps letting them down

It would be inexcusable to allow Covid to run wild on campuses once again. Students, staff and all other members of university communities deserve better, writes Matt Western.

Read Matt’s full piece below:

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 13:20

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Johnson hopes to see evidence for cutting isolation period ‘soon,’ a spokesman said

Mr Johnson hopes to see the scientific evidence that would allow the government to cut the Covid isolation period from 7 days to 5 days “soon,” a spokesman said.

If it is possible to go further, we would want to act quickly,” he told journalists.

“But it needs to be based on the latest evidence and that work is still ongoing. We certainly have not received any further updated advice.”

Ella Glover10 January 2022 13:15

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What does the PM think of Novak Djokovic?

What does the prime minister think of the behaviour of Novak Djokovic, still locked in a battle to enter Australia to defend his tennis title because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid?

His spokesman said he would not “comment on individuals” – but went on to make No 10’s view of a top sports star holding out against the jab pretty clear, nonetheless.

“It is important to note that those individuals that are refusing to get vaccinated are putting themselves at risk. We have the hard data to back that up – and they’re putting others at risk as well,” he said.

Ella Glover10 January 2022 13:06

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If you’re young and in the northeast, wealth inequality bites hard

A typical family in the southeast of England is halfway towards achieving millionaire status. In the northeast, by contrast, median household wealth is £168,500, writes Hamish McRae.

Read his full piece here:

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 13:05

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PM won’t face further inquiry over luxury flat refurb

Boris Johnson has been spared further investigation into his controversial flat refurbishment.

The PM spent at least £112,000 on the refurbishment of the private flat above No 1, despite receiving an an annual public grant of only £30,000 to spend on his living quarters.

According to Downing Street, Kathryn Stone, who oversees the code of conduct and rules for MPs, told the prime minister she will not launch a fresh inquiry in a letter at the end of last week.

It is believed that she agrees with No 10’s view that the declaration of the funding arrangements for the refurbishment fall under the ministerial code – and not Mr Johnson’s declarations to parliament.

Ashley Cowburn has the full story:

Ella Glover10 January 2022 12:50

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Why on earth does Nigel Farage care so much about Novak Djokovic?

Farage will try and spin the story differently but this, really, is the extent of it: he has attached himself to a bandwagon and been rewarded with a quick peek inside Djokovic’s trophy room, our voices editor Rupert Hawksley writes.

Read his full piece here:

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 12:40

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PM dodges questions on fresh Downing Street party claims

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is investigating the May 20 event as part of her inquiry into numerous allegations of rule-breaking events being held in No 10 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sunday Times cited three sources stating Mr Johnson‘s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, emailed officials with an invite adding “BYOB”, meaning bring your own bottle to the gathering.

Asked if he and his wife Carrie attended, Mr Johnson said: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

Pressed on whether he had been interviewed by Ms Gray, he said: “All that is a subject for investigation by Sue Gray.”

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 12:12

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Johnson admits inflation adding to cost of living squeeze

Boris Johnson acknowledged that energy costs were “just one component” of the pressures facing households.

“There’s a general inflationary pressure caused by the world economy coming back from Covid, and in the US, I think, inflation is likely to be the highest it’s been since the early 80s. The eurozone is experiencing exactly the same thing.

“Here in the UK. I’m afraid we’re seeing the same problem.

“We’ve got to help people, particularly people on low incomes, we’ve got to help people with the cost of their fuel, and that’s what we’re doing.”

He previous claimed that fears about inflation were “unfounded” but denied doing so during Prime Minister Question’s last week.

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 12:03

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Full report: British businesses fear Brexit changes will add to rising costs this year

British businesses fear Brexit changes will add to rising costs this year, a poll has found.

A survey of 228 firms by industry body Make UK and professional services network PwC found that more than half (56 per cent) were concerned that Brexit would continue to impact business costs, with the most prominent worries being custom delays due to import checks and changes in product labelling.

My colleague Ella Glover reports:

Matt Mathers10 January 2022 11:38



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