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Read in full: the Lord Geidt letters

Read in full: the Lord Geidt letters
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At long last, the flatgate letters are out. Boris Johnson has today been cleared by his ethics adviser Lord Geidt of deliberately misleading an investigation into the funding of his Downing Street flat refurbishment – despite being accused of acting 'unwisely'. Geidt had previously cleared Johnson of breaking the ministerial code over allegations of soliciting a donation from Lord Brownlow but a recent Electoral Commission investigation revealed previously unknown WhatsApp messages between Brownlow and Johnson.

But while Geidt says the emergence of the ‘lost’ WhatsApp message ‘caused me to test my confidence in my earlier conclusions’, Johnson maintains the texts did not undermine previous assurances that at ‘no point in the eight months until late February 2021’ was he aware that costs were being met by Lord Brownlow personally. In an exchange of letters, the Prime Minister apologised for failing to disclose the crucial messages, with Geidt concluding that ‘potential and real failures of process occurred in more than one party of the apparatus of government.’

Along with the letters came the rather embarrassing emergence of texts from Johnson to Brownlow. The exchange shows Johnson urging Brownlow for ‘approvals’ for the £112,000-plus makeover, moaning that the flat above 11 Downing Street was a ‘bit of a tip’ – even though David Cameron had refurbished the flat just a few years ago. The PM claimed he was ‘keen’  to let designer Lulu Lytle get started on the refurbishment, with Brownlow promising to get on with the job, adding: 'It’s only me and I know where the £ will come from.'

    Classy stuff at the seat of government!

    Below is Lord Geidt’s letter to Boris Johnson:

      Here is Boris Johnson’s reply:

      And here is Lord Geidt’s concluding letter:

      Written bySteerpike

      Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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