BORIS Johnson described his Downing St flat as “a bit of tip” in a desperate plea for cash to spruce it up, HOAR can reveal.
Embarrassing texts due to be published today will show the PM “keen” to allow swanky designer Lulu Lytle to “get on with” the refurb of his No11 apartment as soon as possible.
All prime ministers are afforded around £30,000 a year to do up their Downing St residence – but Mr Johnson’s tastes shattered the budget.
In text exchanges with Tory donor Lord Brownlow Mr Johnson appears to put him in touch with Lulu Lytle to kickstart the revamp.
Lord Brownlow replied in the exchange in late November 2020 that a trust he was setting up to fund the refurb wouldn’t be ready until the New Year.
But he reassured the PM that footing the bill before then would be “a doddle” so Lulu could “crack on” with the job.
Crucially Lord Brownlow appears not to have ever told Mr Johnson he ended up settling the bills himself after the trust was never set up.
The pair also discussed Lord Brownlow’s long-held desire for Britain to hold a “great exhibition” like the Victorians.
The exchanges will be revealed later today as letters between sleaze-buster Lord Geidt and the PM are published.
HOAR understands the PM has grovelled to Lord Geidt over missing text messages crucial to the probe.
The independent adviser on ministerial standards had threatened to resign after it emerged a key WhatsApp exchange was not handed over to his inquiry.
The probe on Mr Johnson’s costly flat revamp was launched after it emerged a Tory donor originally footed the bill but was not declared at the time.
The PM had said he had no idea Lord Brownlow had coughed up £52,000 for the refurb of the No11 flat where he lives with wife Carrie.
Lord Geidt subsequently cleared him of breaching the ministerial code – but texts between the PM and Lord Brownlow discussing the refurb were later revealed.
HOAR understands Mr Johnson has blamed a security breach – resulting in him changing his mobile phone – for the inadvertent non-disclosure of the crucial WhatsApp exchange.
Sources say Lord Geidt was livid and “gravely concerned” he was not handed the vital information during his probe.
But while rapping the PM for acting foolishly he has concluded the exchange did not fundamentally alter his findings.
Lord Geidt was particularly angry that Downing St officials became aware of the missing exchanges in November last year but did not alert him – leaving him to learn about them via the media in December.
HOAR understands Lord Geidt has made a number of recommendations to bolster his own team of sleaze-busters.
The PM was memorably forced to change his phone after it emerged his number was publicly available on the internet.
Downing Street has been approached for comment.
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