OPINION - Evening Standard Comment: New year, same old sleaze for Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson is facing new questions over his apparent support for a ‘great exhibition’ plan backed by a Tory donor who helped pay for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Boris Johnson is facing new questions over his apparent support for a ‘great exhibition’ plan backed by a Tory donor who helped pay for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson has started the year as he ended the last — mired in controversy over accusations of sleaze.

He has been forced to apologise for failing to disclose text messages with a Conservative peer who had initially funded the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat.

Lord Geidt, who had led the investigation, said the Prime Minister had displayed “insufficient care” and criticised him for failing to disclose all the information.

It is a terrible look for Johnson, but not a new one. Honesty and integrity must be a prerequisite for leadership, yet our Prime Minister has once again demonstrated how far and how often he falls short.

Johnson may be safe for now, but the local elections in May — and circling backbenchers — may get him in the end.

No more red

Arsenal Football Club, synonymous with playing in red and white, will don an all-white kit when they take the field against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The move is part of the No More Red campaign, which aims to prevent bloodshed by providing more safe spaces for young people and to eradicate the causes of violent crime.

The campaign has been backed by the actor and Londoner Idris Elba, who has called out for more people to “stand up” and speak out about knife crime.

After the worst year on record for teenage killings in the capital, we must leave no stone unturned to put an end to needless bloodshed destroying lives and blighting our city.

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