Johnson insists he is focused on job as flat row rumbles on

David Hughes, PA Political Editor
·2-min read

Boris Johnson insisted he is “laser-focused” on delivering people’s priorities as he sought to move on from the row over the funding of his Downing Street flat.

The Prime Minister’s comments came after the end of a tumultuous parliamentary session which saw the UK leave the European Union and face the devastating impact of coronavirus.

The session, which began in December 2019, ended on Thursday with the Prime Minister embroiled in a sleaze row over his apartment.

But Mr Johnson insisted his Government had delivered for the British people throughout the session and remained committed to its priorities.

“This Parliament has been witness to an extraordinary chapter in the UK’s history, spanning the new freedoms we’ve gained as a sovereign nation outside the EU to the impacts of a global pandemic,” he said.

“The changes we’ve delivered have allowed us to take rapid action to protect our country from coronavirus and will make our country stronger, fairer, safer and greener.

“But there is much more to do, and I will remain laser-focused on delivering the people’s priorities as we work to unite, level up and increase opportunity all across the UK.”

A total of 44 Government Bills were passed during the session, with the landmark Domestic Abuse Act one of the final pieces of legislation to receive royal assent.

A socially distanced prorogation ceremony on Thursday brought the session to a close.

Both Houses will return on Tuesday May 11 when the Queen’s Speech will set out the Government’s priorities for the coming year.

The Prime Minister has insisted the row over the funding of his lavish refurbishments to the flat over No 11 Downing Street is a “farrago of nonsense” and “I don’t think there’s anything to see here”.

But he has ordered two investigations – by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and the independent adviser on ministers’ interests Lord Geidt – while the Electoral Commission has launched an inquiry into how the refurbishment was financed, claiming there were reasonable grounds to suspect political funding laws could have been broken.

Mr Johnson has said he “personally” paid for the renovations but has refused to say whether he received an initial donation from the Conservative Party to cover the costs, reported to be up to £200,000.