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Boris Johnson’s apartment: Strengthening the powers of the “irresponsible” standards adviser dismissed by the minister | Political news

A minister has rejected calls for increased powers for an “unelected and irresponsible” ministerial standards adviser, who is currently considering funding for Boris Johnson’s Downing Street apartment.

Speaking to Sky News, Victoria Atkins said the suggestion had “not really been thought through”.

She was responding to concerns that the newly appointed ministerial adviser Lord Geidt is unable to properly hold members of government, including the Prime Minister, to estimate.

Home Secretary Victoria Atkins
Victoria Atkins argues demand for more powerful role ‘hasn’t really been thought through’

Lord Geidt does not have the power to launch his own investigations and Number 10 has confirmed that the Prime Minister remains the ultimate judge of any infringement.

Labor has criticized the arrangement, arguing that it means Mr Johnson is “effectively marking his own homework”.

Opposition criticism was further fueled after the Prime Minister refused to commit to immediately publishing Lord Geidt’s findings in full.

He was tasked with “checking the facts surrounding” the renovation of Mr Johnson’s No.11 Residence and advising him “on any new interest registrations that may be necessary”.

Mr Johnson said he “personally” paid for the renovation but declined to say whether he had received an initial donation from the Conservative Party to cover reported costs of up to £ 200,000.

Responding to calls for a stronger and independent role for the ministerial adviser on standards, Ms Atkins insisted it was right for the prime minister to have the final say.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-30 09:14:00