Press release 13th Feb 2020

Clarity needed over donor of Prime Minister’s Caribbean holiday

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13th February, London – Transparency International UK is urging Boris Johnson to clarify who paid for his luxury Caribbean holiday over the Christmas break.

Mr Johnson declared the £15,000 trip as a gift from businessman David Ross, a major Conservative Party donor. But a spokesperson for Mr Ross has since been reported as saying that the businessman did not pay for the holiday and had only helped facilitate the trip, leaving it unclear over who paid for it.

Transparency around gifts and hospitality received by politicians is essential to avoid the perception or reality of hidden or undue influence.

Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive of Transparency International UK, said:

“Whether given in cash or in-kind, it is imperative there is full transparency over any gifts or hospitality provided to our politicians. Shining a light on the provenance of these benefits enables the public to scrutinise any potential conflicts of interest that may arise as a consequence. Inaccurate declarations of gifts, whether by mistake or otherwise, undermines this system of accountability. We urge the Prime Minister to clear up the confusion over who paid for this trip at the earliest opportunity.”

 

Notes to editors:

The House of Commons rules state that members do not need to report excursions ‘wholly unconnected with membership of the House or with the Member’s parliamentary or political activities (e.g. family holidays)’

 

Contact:

Harvey Gavin

harvey.gavin@transparency.org.uk

+44 (0)20 3096 7695

+44 (0)79 6456 0340