Downing Street denies Tory donor’s wife footed Boris Johnson’s £27,000 organic food bill

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture date: Friday May 14, 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus. (PA)

Downing Street has refuted reports that a Tory donor’s wife footed Boris Johnson’s bill for around £27,000 worth of organic food.

Claims emerged on Saturday that the fresh food and drink from luxury organic farm shop Daylesfood was smuggled into Downing Street between May and February for the prime minister and his fiance Carrie Symonds.

According to leaked documents seen by the Daily Mail, the food was supplied to the PM at “cost price”, reducing what would be a £27,000 bill to £18,900. 

The documents reportedly show that some of the items were “charged to LB’s account” as code for Lady Carole Bamford, who owns Daylesford and is married to JCB construction firm owner Lord Bamford.

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Lord Bamford and his companies have donated around £10 million to the Conservative Party.

Downing Street has denied that a Tory donor footed the cost of the meals. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds arrive to cast their vote at Methodist Central Hall, central London, in the local and London Mayoral election. Picture date: Thursday May 6, 2021.
Prime minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds arrive to cast their vote. (PA)

In a statement to Yahoo, a Number 10 spokesperson said: “The costs of the food for personal consumption are met by the Prime Minister.” 

It comes as Johnson faces inquiries into how he funded his lavish Downing Street flat makeover.

The leaked food deliveries documents reportedly contradict Johnson’s claims earlier this year that he pays for all his food at No 10.

The documents also reveal that measures were used to discreetly deliver the hampers to Downing Street, according to the Mail.

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In the confidential memos, Johnson is referred to as “Alex” after his real first name Alexander, it is claimed.

Staff were also reportedly told to use “plain white paper bags” for the meal deliveries rather than bags with a Daylesford logo for “discretion”.

It has also been claimed that Lady Bamford’s butler dropped off the food hampers, which included pre-prepared meals and wine, on a Boris Bike. 

A leaked email from Daylesford’s chef director is also said to discuss the meal plan in May 2020.

In it, the chef reportedly writes: “Alex has discussed the pressure on food preparation and a tendency to resort to takeaways. 

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“This is something we can help with by sending pre-prepped meals that would be fast and easy to finish in their own kitchen. 

“Due to Alex’s recent illness, we have been especially mindful of his protein levels while still keeping the menu varied and light. There are some treats as well, and Alex’s favourite vegetables have been included.”

The prime minister, like all MPs, must declare any donation or gift worth more than £500 in the Commons Register of Interests within a month. 

If gifts or services are supplied below cost price, the full market value must also be declared.

However, there is no reference to Daylesford deliveries in his current entry.

Daylesford and Lady Bamford have been contacted for comment.

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