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Boris Johnson accused of corruption after the appearance of the text of ‘great exhibition’ | Boris johnson

Boris Johnson has been charged with corruption after it emerged that he sought funding for his flat from a conservative donor while vowing to consider plans for a mysterious “grand exhibition.”

The prime minister is facing new questions after recently posted WhatsApp messages with fellow conservative David Brownlow show that Johnson called parts of his Downing Street residence “advice” and asked for “approvals” for his designer of decor, Lulu Lytle, could I “move on.” it ”in November 2020.

He signed the message saying, “Ps, I’m on the big show plan. It’ll be reversed.” Lord Brownlow replied, “Of course, have Lulu call me and we’ll fix it as soon as possible! Thanks for considering GE2. “

On Thursday, Johnson was forced to make a “humble and sincere” apology for the texts that were not provided to his independent ethics advisor during an initial investigation last spring.

The first Great Show was held in Hyde Park in 1851. Brownlow and then culture secretary Oliver Dowden discussed plans for a “Great Show 2.0” weeks after the WhatsApp exchanges, official records show.

When asked what the big showcase plan Johnson had referred to was, his spokesperson said it was an “idea that didn’t go ahead.” Instead, he added, the “Festival UK,” formerly known as the Brexit Festival, would take place in 2022, but couldn’t explain the difference between that event and the grand exhibition plan.

On January 18, 2021, Brownlow held a meeting with Dowden at the Royal Albert Hall “to discuss plans for the Great Show 2.0”. A government source indicated that it was a “private initiative” of the Royal Albert Hall, of which Brownlow is a trustee according to his register of interests.

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The government has considered several events similar to a “Great Show 2.0″. Originally envisioned by Theresa May’s administration as a ‘Brexit Festival’, later ‘Festival 2022’, the government-backed £ 120m event received the green light from Johnson and will be held this year under the name of ” Unboxed “.

Angela Rayner, Labor deputy director, said Brownlow appeared to have access to Johnson and Dowden “because he was paying” for the renovations. He said that if true, it would constitute “corruption, plain and simple”, adding: “No one should be able to buy access to or exchange wallpaper for festivals.”

Liberal Democrats’ top whip, Wendy Chamberlain, said: “It stinks of the worst kind of conservative cronyism, with Boris Johnson apparently happy to scratch his donor lord’s back to fix his flat in return.”

The WhatsApp messages were posted as part of letters exchanged by Johnson and his independent ethics advisor, Lord Geidt. For the second time, Geidt found that the prime minister did not violate the ministerial code on payments for the Downing Street flat renovation, but Johnson was criticized for acting “recklessly.”

The prime minister apologized for failing to deliver the text messages to Geidt last spring, saying he did not remember them and did not have access to his phone due to “security concerns”, believed to be related to the time when that her mobile phone number was discovered online.

With thinly veiled frustration, Geidt said the saga “shook my confidence” adding that if he had seen the evidence when writing his first report, he may not have ruled that Johnson tried to make the correct statement and seek advice at the earliest opportunity. .

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While Johnson initially told Geidt that he was unaware that Brownlow was funding £ 58,000 for renovations at residence number 11 until “immediately before the media reports”, full details of the prime minister’s direct request for funds were released. Thursday.

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The WhatsApp messages revealed “intimacy” between Johnson and Brownlow, said Sir Alistair Graham, former chair of the committee on standards in public life. He told The Guardian: “It shows that you were very aware of what was going on in Downing Street. The question arises as to how Johnson would not have known that he was providing actual cash for the remodel.

“It would certainly provide an incentive for his idea, reaching out to the prime minister to get him off the ground, helping him with his remodel. It adds to the unpleasant nature of the whole exercise. “

No. 10 denied there was anything unfavorable about Brownlow’s meeting with Dowden, emphasizing that the partner had acted with integrity since he was first approached to chair the Downing Street trust. A spokesperson said it was normal for ministers to meet with stakeholders and listen to the proposals put before them, adding: “In accordance with normal practice, this idea was referred to the appropriate department, considered and ultimately , the government did not carry it out. “

Brownlow was contacted for comment.

The ‘lost exchange’

November 29, 2020, 12:59 p.m.
Boris Johnson:

Hello david
I’m afraid parts of our floor are still a bit of a tip, and I’m eager to allow Lulu Lytle to move on. May I ask you to contact you for approvals?
Thank you very much and all the best
Ps, I’m on the big show plan. It will be reversed.

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November 29, 2020, 3.44pm
David Brownlow:

Evening Prime Minister, I hope both of you are okay
Sorry for the delay, I went out for a walk and didn’t have my “work” phone with me.
Of course, have Lulu call me and we’ll fix it asap.
Thanks for considering GE2
Best wishes David

November 29, 2020, 4.10pm
David Brownlow:

I should have said that since the Trust is not established yet (it will be in January), approval is child’s play as it’s just me and I know where the £ is coming from, so as soon as Lulu calls we can move on. go ahead – David

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