LONDON (Bywire News)- It’s safe to say that Boris Johnson has had better weeks.
On Monday it was revealed that the prime minister had made highly offensive comments about preferring to “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” than impose a third lockdown on the UK.
Yesterday, Bywire revealed that the Tory donor who had paid for the renovation of Johnson’s Downing Street flat founded a firm who had benefited from public contracts up to the value of £120m.
And today, just before PMQs began, the Electoral Commission announced they were launching an official investigation into the source of funding behind the PM’s flat renovations - with the potential for criminal proceedings and Johnson being forced to resign possible outcomes.
The Electoral Commission has just announced that it will be investigating the funding of Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat refurbishment.— Bywire News (@bywirenews) April 28, 2021
This is a potentially huge development - and, if found guilty of breaking the law, the PM will almost certainly be forced to resign.
Whilst it’s safe to assume that the PM wasn’t in the best of moods when he turned up to the House of Commons on Wednesday, he absolutely lost the plot after facing six questions about his conduct from the Labour leader, Keir Starmer.
Starmer’s first few questions focussed on Johnson’s reported ‘bodies pile high’ remark - which the PM responded by categorically denying.
The Labour leader responded by saying that “somebody here isn't telling the truth”, before hinting that if it did later emerge that the prime minister was lying, then he should be forced to resign.
Starmer’s focus then turned to the big story of the day - the Electoral Commission’s announcement that they would be launching an urgent investigation into the source of funding for the Downing Street flat renovations - by asking who exactly paid for the work to be carried out.
Johnson replied by categorically stating that he himself had paid for the refurbishment - a highly contentious statement which could also come back to haunt him.
Starmer then began to turn up the pressure even further - first by asking who “initially” paid for the refurb. Johnson simply refused to answer.
The Labour leader then said that the Electoral Commission’s investigation was an “"incredibly serious” matter, and questioned Johnson on whether he thinks he may have broken the law - to which the PM responded emphatically: “no, I do not”.
And then came the big finale - with the Labour leader reminding the PM of the Nolan Principles, before directing a volley of criticism at the PM over his conduct:
“Can I remind the prime minister of the Nolan Principles which are meant to govern the behaviour of those in public office?
“They are: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, and Leadership.
“Instead, what do we get from this prime minister and this Conservative government? Dodgy contracts, jobs for their mates, and cash for access.
“And who’s at the heart of it? The prime minister - Major Sleaze sitting there!
“Meanwhile, he talks about priorities - crime is going up, NHS waiting lists are at record levels, and millions of people are worried about their jobs, including at Liberty Steel.
“Don’t the British people deserve a prime minister they can trust - and a government that isn’t mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal?”
Johnson’s response was utterly furious, even bordering on the unhinged - so much so that the word “rattled” began trending on social media within minutes of his apoplectic response.
You can watch Johnson’s astonishing meltdown in the featured video at the top of this article.
(Writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Jess Miller and Michael O’Sullivan)