BORIS Johnson is reportedly set to be cleared of breaking the ministerial code over payments by a Tory Lord to refurbish his Downing Street flat.

According to the Financial Times, the internal inquiry led by Lord Geidt will criticise the Prime Minister but will not say he broke any rules.

Geidt had previously cleared Johnson of breaking the ministerial code over donations made by Lord Brownlow for the Prime Minister’s No 11 flat.

However, a recent Electoral Commission investigation revealed WhatsApp messages between Brownlow and Johnson, showing the Prime Minister had direct contact with Brownlow about the flat refurbishment.

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The watchdog’s report raised further questions by discussing evidence that Johnson had sent the Tory peer a WhatsApp message in November 2020 “asking him to authorise further, at that stage unspecified, refurbishment works on the residence”, to which he agreed.

This was despite Johnson having told Lord Geidt he had no knowledge of the payments until immediately prior to media reports in February 2021.

Brownlow made a £58,000 donation to the Conservative Party to help refurbish the flat for which the party was fined £17,800 after failing to properly declare the cash.

The National:

Lord Geidt previously cleared Johnson of breaching the code in relation to the funding of the flat refurbishment 

The Financial Times is reporting that several recent letters between Geidt and Johnson looking into whether Johnson misled the initial investigation could be published in the new year.

Geidt has reportedly told colleagues that the situation is “deeply unsatisfactory”.

Despite this, Johnson will reportedly be cleared.

The Financial Times quoted a senior official as saying: “Geidt makes clear the situation is a total mess. But at the same time the fundamental conclusion is that the PM did not deceive and did not break the ministerial code."

The FT reported that Government advisers said Lord Geidt had now seen all the relevant WhatsApp messages, and concluded there was no breach of the code.

The National:

The Prime Minister is being investigated over payments to refurbish his Downing Street flat

But the newspaper said the PM’s conduct would be criticised.

It said that, according to several Whitehall officials with knowledge of Lord Geidt’s latest investigation, “three to four” letters had been exchanged with No 10 on the recent revelations, that may be published in the new year.

The FT reported that one source said of the inquiry: “There’s enough in those letters to raise eyebrows. The Prime Minister has apologised for some of the circumstances around the initial investigation, which Lord Geidt has accepted.”

The Prime Minister has denied ever lying to Geidt about his knowledge of the funds for the flat.

The revelation of the WhatsApp messages between Johnson and Brownlow prompted calls for resignation, with the SNP saying Johnson "simply cannot be allowed to remain as Prime Minister" after the evidence emerged.

Labour previously accused Johnson of lying to Geidt.

Ahead of the expected findings from the inquiry, the party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: “After the Electoral Commission ruled that the Conservative party broke the law on declaring donations, the prime minister has made a mockery of the standards the public has a right to expect.

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“While the British public is facing a cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson is busy writing to his own adviser about why he did not give him all of the information he needed for his investigation.

“Lord Geidt should publish all his correspondence with the Prime Minister as a first step towards providing full transparency into how Boris Johnson is explaining away his WhatsApp messages with Tory donors.

“It is embarrassing that when the country needs real leadership, Boris Johnson is busy trying to clear up his own personal mess.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation.”