Downing Street defends PM’s transparency over luxury villa holiday


    o 10 has defended the Prime Minister’s transparency record, as it insisted a family holiday to Marbella at a Tory peer’s villa was declared in accordance with the rules.

    Last month the Prime Minister jetted off to the south of Spain with his wife Carrie and son Wilfred.

    The latest update on the register of ministerial interests showed the accommodation the Johnsons enjoyed was provided free of charge by the family of Conservative peer Zac Goldsmith

    Defra Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith (Steve Parsons/PA) / PA Archive

    Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner said this should also have been declared in the Commons’ register for members’ interests, and has written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards urging her to open an investigation, a call echoed by the Liberal Democrats.

    But Downing Street has insisted this was not necessary, with a spokesman for the Prime Minister saying: “Earlier this year, the Prime Minister received hospitality from a longstanding friend who provided use of their holiday home.

    “The Prime Minister’s met the transparency requirements in relation to this, he declared this arrangement in his ministerial capacity, given this was hospitality provided by another minister.”

    He said the PM’s ministerial standards adviser, Lord Geidt, had scrutinised the declaration as part of the process.

    The spokesman declined to answer when asked how much the holiday was worth, but added: “Given the hospitality was provided by another minister, it’s right that the PM made this declaration in his ministerial capacity to ensure sufficient transparency.

    The Prince of Wales speaks Minister of State Zac Goldsmith and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng at a reception during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow (Phil Noble/PA) / PA Wire

    “I also point out that this was a family holiday at the home of longstanding family friends and is unconnected with a PM’s parliamentary and political activities.

    “The PM has written to the House of Commons registrar to set out that this holiday has been declared under the ministerial code, because the arrangement is with another minister.”

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