Boris Johnson declares stay at luxury villa was provided ‘free of charge by Goldsmiths’
The Prime Minister has registered his stay at a luxury villa as being provided 'free of charge' by the family of Lord Goldsmith.
Boris Johnson has registered his stay at a luxury Spanish villa as being provided free of charge by the family of Lord Goldsmith, who the Prime Minister handed a peerage and a ministerial job after his electoral defeat.
The admission came on Thursday in the latest update on the register of ministerial interests but did not detail how much the holiday near Marbella last month would have cost.
The register notes Mr Johnson has a “longstanding personal friendship with the Goldsmith family”.
The Prime Minister made Zac Goldsmith a life peer shortly after voters dumped him as the MP for Richmond Park in a defeat to the Liberal Democrats in 2019.
It paved the way for Mr Johnson to hand Lord Goldsmith a job in Government, first in the Foreign Office before being made environment minister.
The register says: “The Prime Minister has a longstanding personal friendship with the Goldsmith family and, in that capacity, in October 2021, stayed in a holiday home in southern Spain which was provided free of charge by the Goldsmiths.
“Given Lord Goldsmith is a minister of the crown, the arrangement has accordingly been declared.”
Mr Johnson faced criticism at the time of the holiday in the Costa del Sol as it came at a time the Government was battling to stem a cost-of-living crisis and the fallout from spiralling gas prices.
At the time, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to be drawn on reports that Mr Johnson was staying at the Goldsmith family’s villa.
“Any declarations that need to be made will be made in the normal way, but I don’t have anything to add to that. I wouldn’t get into anything on location for security reasons,” the spokesman said.