The UK’s Conservatives were fined for donations to the renovation of the home of the PM.
On Thursday, the electoral watchdog fined the British government’s Conservative Party 17,800 pounds ($23,500) for not correctly reporting an amount used to pay for the renovation of Boris Johnson’s official residence.
Johnson has come under intense scrutiny regarding the money for the renovation.
It was spent is estimated by some media to be in the many thousands of dollars on an item that Sun newspaper described as shabby furnishings and wallpaper embossed with embossed.
This is the latest in an array of scandals that have ensnared Johnson. He is currently under fire for reports of parties held at the Downing Street residence during last year’s lockdown.
In May, an official report on the funding source for the refurbishment was harsh on Johnson. However, it denied him a conflict of interest or violating the ministerial code of conduct.
However, Thursday, the Electoral Commission said it had discovered Conservative Party donor David Brownlow gave 67,801 pounds to the party. However, the party did not report 15,000 pounds.
The balance of 52,801 was intended to be used to pay three invoices related to the renovation of Downing Street, it said.
“Our investigation concluded that the full amount of the 67,801.72 pounds was a donation and should have been reported to the Commission,” it stated in an announcement.
“We also concluded that the reference to the payment made by the party for the refurbishment in the party’s financial records was not accurately recorded.”
Johnson’s spokesman claimed that the prime minister was aware Brownlow was in charge of the funds. But he did not realize that he was the source of the money since the trust was operating as a trust that was blind.
In opposition, the Labour Party said the Commission’s findings raise new questions regarding Johnson’s knowledge about the contribution.
The official investigation released in May concluded that Johnson did not know that Brownlow had paid an invoice to pay for a portion of the costs of refurbishing.
However, the Electoral Commission said the prime minister had approached Brownlow’s donor to inquire about funding.
“The Prime Minister messaged Lord Brownlow via WhatsApp asking him to authorize further, at that stage unspecified, refurbishment works on the residence. Lord Brownlow agreed to do so,” the message read.
Devika Chowdhury – She is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. She is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.