Carphone Warehouse tycoon confirms he 'facilitated accommodation' for Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' trip to Mustique

Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative leader Boris Johnson (R) and his partner Carrie Symonds (L) arrive at the count centre in Uxbridge, west London, on December 13, 2019 as votes were counted as part of the UK general election. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Thursday's snap election, an exit poll showed, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU next month after years of political deadlock. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has been urged to 'fess up' over who paid for his and Carrie Symonds new year break to Mustique (AFP via Getty Images)

Businessman David Ross has confirmed he “facilitated” accommodation for Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’ £15,000 new year trip to the Caribbean.

The prime minister had faced calls to “come clean” over who paid for the luxury break on the island of Mustique after Ross, who Johnson said was responsible, denied funding the trip.

Downing Street insisted all “transparency requirements” had been followed when Johnson declared the break officially, but question marks over who actually footed the bill remained.

But following speculation, Ross’s spokesman said: “Following media reports I would like to provide further explanation of the benefit in kind Mr Ross provided to Mr Johnson.

“Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.

“Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson’s declaration to the House of Commons is correct.”

Johnson and Symonds took the post-general election break in St Vincent and the Grenadines between Boxing Day and 5 January.

Carphone Warehouse deputy chairman David Ross and Saffron Aldridge (Photo by Nick Harvey/WireImage)
David Ross, pictured here with Saffron Aldridge, has denied paying for the villa used by Boris Johnson for his new year break to the Caribbean (WireImage)

Recording the trip in the Commons’ register of members’ interests, Johnson said it was paid for by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, but the tycoon has since denied funding the luxury break.

Earlier in the day the PM had been urged to reveal who funded the trip, or face a parliamentary inquiry.

Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow cabinet office minister, said: “Boris Johnson must come clean about who has paid for his luxury trip.

“If he fails to do so, the parliamentary commissioner for standards should step in and make him fess up. The public deserves to know who is paying for their prime minister’s jaunts.”


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In a declaration published on Wednesday, Johnson announced in the MPs’ register that he had accepted “accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000” and named Ross as the financial provider.

But a spokesman for the entrepreneur told the Daily Mail that Ross had called the company which runs the villas on the island and found somebody had dropped out so Johnson got use of the villa but Ross “did not pay any monies whatsoever for this”.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “All transparency requirements have been followed, as set out in the register of members’ financial interests.”

The PM faced criticism at the time of his break for failing to cut his festive break short after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by a US air strike on 3 January.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry accused him of “sunning himself” while leaving cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill to chair three emergency Cobra meetings amid growing tensions following the killing.

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