The words “Tory” and “scandal” rarely seem to be too far apart from each other, however, it now appears that some of Boris Johnson’s closest allies are turning against him. Dominic Cummings, a former advisor of Boris Johnson, now alleges that spending to the tune of £30,000 a year to maintain his central London property may be an illegal misuse of funds coming allegedly from Conservative Party donors.
Downing Street was quick to defend the integrity of the Prime Minister, stating that “any costs of wider refurbishment in this year have been met by the prime minister personally”. Downing Street said that Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishment himself, spending £200,000 on the works, which Downing Street claim came from Boris Johnson and not public funds. Although this has been claimed by Johnson, the electoral commission have added that the Conservative Party has reportedly recently received a donation of £58,000 in relation to the flat.
This latest scandal comes shortly after the PM was accused of sleaziness after a brazen exchange of text messages with Sir James Dyson regarding government contracts. Dominic Cummings himself, the former trusted ally of Boris Johnson, has now described Johnson as “a vacuum of integrity”. He then went on to also describe the newest scandal with the flat as “just one illustration of the chaos Mr Johnson seems to bring in his wake”.
Dominic Cummings has been accused by Downing street of leaking government information. Cummings in a blog post explained that he has not leaked the information, stating: “I have made the offer to hand over some private text messages, even though I am under no legal obligation to do so, because of the seriousness of the claims being made officially by No. 10 today, particularly the covid leak that caused serious harm to millions. This does not mean that I will answer every allegation made by No. 10.”
Cummings has come out to further say that he believes that the leaker is a Henry Newman former advisor to Michael Gove. Downing Street have denied these claims from Cummings.
Cummings has a long-standing record of conflict with both the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson. Cummings in 2017 said: “People think, and by the way I think most people are right: ‘The Tory party is run by people who basically don’t care about people like me.’”
Cummings’s relationship with the Conservative Party most recently turned sour again after Cummings was sacked with immediate effect by Boris Johnson, following accusations of a creation of “macho culture” and a “series of communications crises”.
The scandal within itself shows the inherent opportunism and greed that exists on every conceivable level of the Conservative Party. Cummings switching from high level government advisor to government critic simply shows the lack of moral backbone that pollutes the careerists that seem to have the ear of Boris Johnson and to be a key influencer in government policy. Especially this is in the case of Cummings, where the general public have been forced to live with the ideas and poor choices of an unelected official.
What is certain is that this won’t be the last of these leaks and given the Tories’ track record, we may still hear more.