Boris Johnson paid for Downing Street flat revamp out of his own pocket

Gavin Cordon, PA Whitehall Editor
·1-min read

Boris Johnson met the cost of revamping his official Downing Street flat out of his own pocket, the Government has said.

The Cabinet Office minister Lord True said that aside from standard work on “painting, sanding and floorboards”, “any costs of wider refurbishment in this year have been met by the Prime Minister personally.”

The details – revealed in a House of Lords written answer – follow intense speculation as to how the revamp of the flat over No 11 Downing Street has been paid for.

Normally, prime ministers receive an annual allowance of up to £30,000 to contribute to the costs of maintaining and furnishing the residency.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds (Jonathan Brady/PA)

However, there have been reports that the lavish overhaul of the flat – overseen by Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds – has run to £200,000.

In his answer, Lord True said that the Government had been “considering the merits” of whether in future works on the Downing Street estate could be funded by a trust.

He said this could mirror the longstanding arrangements in place for the Prime Minister’s official country residence at Chequers, which is held in a private trust, or Dorneywood, which is a charitable trust, reducing the need for public subsidy.

“Such matters are legally complex and policy development is ongoing,” he said.

“The Government engaged with the Leader of the Opposition’s Office on the proposals in July.”