The Times story about Boris Johnson’s chaotic life says much
The Times has today published a story entitled – Can Boris Johnson afford to be Prime Minister. The headline does not convey the enormity of its contents.
Leaving aside the noise around the supposed £200,000 refurbishment of the Downing Street apartment, unpaid invoices or not, who, how and when – there is so much more to this story.
Boris Johnson leads a life that is chaotic in every sense of the word and in every facet of his life.
The prime minister, says The Times, is engulfed in a swirling mess where the public and private overlap. Senior Tories know that Johnson’s financial difficulties are mingled in with the chaotic way he runs his Downing Street team — and it has opened rifts at the heart of government. This is just what we all needed to hear in a global pandemic with all of the economic fallout that comes with it, isn’t it!
The Times alleges that Johnson has taken out a commercial loan to repay the outstanding £60,000 loan given to pay the invoice for the flat refurbishment – but it has not appeared on the register of ministerial interests
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The fact that the register itself has not updated for something like 10 months smells of yet another expenses type scandal set to explode when yet another crisis in government turns up.
Of course, that loan means it is a benefit in kind – meaning Johnson has a tax liability to pay HMRC.
Then there’s the £28,000 in personal gifts and donations Johnson has had since being PM, according to his register of interests that was filled out (up to July last year). That includes a £15,000 trip to Mustique in December 2019, courtesy of the Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, which is the subject of an inquiry by Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. Tax has not been paid on that either.
To pile on some more pressure for our impoverished PM – Johnson’s divorce from his second wife Marina Wheeler, 56, is understood to have been particularly punishing. The Land Registry shows that Wheeler has a “right” on Johnson’s £1.25 million grade II-listed home in Thame, Oxfordshire. The property is up for a rent of some £4,250 a month.
Of course, Johnson can’t escape the effects of his seemingly uncontrollable desire to have sex no matter the consequences. Johnson’s four children with Wheeler have left full-time education but he also has to pay maintenance for his daughter with the art dealer Helen McIntyre, likely to run to a substantial annual five-figure sum.
And it’s extraordinary to read that – “A prominent MP received a complaint from a Tory donor that they were asked to foot the bill for a nanny for Wilfred, Johnson’s son with Symonds, who turned one last week. The donor is alleged to have said: “I don’t mind paying for leaflets but I resent being asked to pay to literally wipe the prime minister’s baby’s bottom.” The cost of a full-time nanny is around £2000 a month. That too would attract a substantial tax bill.
The Times alleges that someone else pays for his personal trainer – costing £165 an hour, and another paid for a personal chef last year. Once again, these are not registered and again, both attract tax.
The commissioner for standards in public life is about to start investigating Boris Johnson over the flat refurbishment – even though it has another that is ongoing over his holidays. He also faces an inquiry by the Electoral Commission suggesting Johnson has broken the law.
After the sacking of Dominic Cummings, rumours are now swirling that the man brought in to calm the Downing Street ship is now so exhausted and frustrated – that he is now thinking of leaving No10.
In this environment – trust is severely lacking. Senior officials are concerned leaks have emerged from Johnson’s private office. It’s all quite ‘Trumpian.’
Amongst all of this, Johnson has told friends that he needs to earn about £300,000 a year — twice his salary, simply to keep his head above water. It sounds as though it would make little difference if he was paid that amount frankly as The Times reports that a former No 10 insider said it was “received wisdom” that he is permanently broke.
This story highlights the fact that Boris Johnson is clearly not mentally equipped for such a responsible job as Prime Minister because he lacks the fortitude and discipline to manage himself, let alone a country in a global pandemic and the continued fallout from Brexit – mainly because he is so unbelievably irresponsible himself.
This is the man representing ‘Global Britain.’