March 21, 2023

‘Nothing to see here’: Boris Johnson claims flat funding row doesn’t matter – live

Latest updates: prime minister dismisses row about the funding of his Downing Street flat refurbishment...

Latest updates: prime minister dismisses row about the funding of his Downing Street flat refurbishment

  • Labour calls for wholly independent investigator into flat refurb
  • ‘Cash for curtains’: Boris Johnson furious as inquiry launched into refurb
  • Analysis: how much trouble is Johnson in?
  • ‘Interior resign’: what the papers say
  • Johnson puts his interests before staff’s wellbeing, says union head

1.10pm BST

Here are the main points from Boris Johnson’s pool interview (in interview with one broadcaster, to be shared with others) this morning.

I don’t think there’s anything to see here or to to worry about. But what we are doing is focusing on the stuff that really matters.

I don’t think that this is the number one issue for the people … By several orders of magnitude, I would say what people want the government to focus on now is exactly what we’re doing, education, crime and all the other issues that really matter.

The one thing I object to in this whole farrago of nonsense is, I love John Lewis.

But what I will say is what people want this government to do is focus on their priorities.

12.41pm BST

Downing Street has said Boris Johnson went to the National Covid Memorial Wall for “quiet reflection” after campaigners for bereaved families criticised the “visit under cover of darkness”, PA Media reports. PA says:

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice accused the prime minister of trying to dodge relatives of those who have died during the crisis by visiting the memorial late on Tuesday.

But No 10 defended Johnson’s “private” visit to the site opposite the Houses of Parliament as being for “quiet reflection”, and said he “offers his deepest condolences” to those who have lost a loved one.

For weeks we’ve asked him to come to the wall and meet bereaved families. He’s refused to even acknowledge our request.

Then, the day after it’s revealed he said he’d let ‘bodies pile high’, he makes a late evening visit under cover of darkness, just so that he can dodge meeting bereaved families.

The prime minister offers his deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one during this very difficult pandemic. On Tuesday the prime minister visited the Covid Memorial Wall in private for quiet reflection.

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