United Kingdom opposition calls for probe into PM's flat refurbishment

Lord Barwell The Cummings war could be 'extremely destabilising'

Lord Barwell, who was Theresa May's chief of staff when she was prime minister, said he was "surprised" at how long the inquiry into the leak was taking.

On Friday, the Prime Minister denied trying to block the leak inquiry, saying the public could not "give a monkey's" about such matters.

Cummings said Johnson's plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation of his Downing Street plan were "unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and nearly certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations". "Frankly, it stinks", he told BBC news.

Ms Truss stressed Mr Johnson had "met the costs of the refurbishment" of his Downing Street flat himself and had "acted completely in line with the rules".

"That has happened. All the costs will be declared in line with the rules".

Truss declined to comment on Sunday when asked whether a donor initially paid for the refurbishment of the Downing Street apartment and Johnson then repaid the donor.

Over the weekend, the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss insisted Mr Johnson had complied fully with the rules and had paid for the refurbishment, which reportedly ran to £200,000, out of his own pocket. "There are certain reporting procedures and those procedures are being followed".

Mr Cummings is widely known to have been critical of Mr Johnson's delay in launching a second lockdown in England when cases began rising last autumn and there is speculation he will seek to blame him for the high death toll.

Ontario reports 4447 new COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called on the Premiers of Atlantic Canada to help Ontario fight their third wave of COVID-19. The rising caseload - 755 COVID-19 patients in intensive care on Monday - has pushed the province's hospitals to the brink.

"You've got the former most senior adviser to the prime minister saying he's fallen well below the standards of integrity that are needed for the office of the prime minister".

Earlier Labour also called for an independent commission on ethics and standards in government to be set up.

That counters Mr Cummings' claim that he was cleared by Mr Case of being the source - described as the "chatty rat" - who told reporters about the imminent lockdown.

"And that is whether contracts get given out by text messages, about whether tax breaks get given out by text messages or whether the prime minister uses his pals to get money to have his flat done up", she added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced questions on Saturday over the costly refurbishment of his apartment on London's Downing Street following a series of incendiary allegations made by his former top adviser.

"What we need is a proper independent inquiry that isn't about two boys fighting and is about taxpayers", she added.

The Observer and the BBC report the party is hoping to be granted an urgent question which would summon the Government to the Commons to account for allegations made by Mr Cummings.

"This needs to be properly root and branch, not the prime minister calling up his best friends in different newspapers to have a pop at Dominic Cummings and Dominic Cummings touring round select committees or writing blogposts", Ms Phillips said.

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