Wallpapergate’ is the latest scandal involving British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Allegedly, the British premier remodeled his official residence at 10 Downing Street with donations, which could constitute a crime. Many people are involved in the case, from Johnson himself to a decorator or a millionaire lord.
According to the tabloid ‘Daily Mail’, British officials were already surprised in February 2020 about the costly renovations being carried out at Boris Johnson’s official residence. According to the British press, which has dubbed the case ‘Wallpapaergate’, the UK Prime Minister is said to have breached ethical rules when redecorating his residence.
In the UK, the prime minister has a sum of 33,000 pounds a year to pay for any changes he wants to make to the decoration of Downing Street. However, the latest refurbishments could have had a cost overrun of 58,000 pounds.
Although Boris Johnson claims that he has defrayed that amount of money himself, various leaks published by the British media in the ‘Wallpapergate’ claim that he could have asked for money from donors to his party to help him pay for it. According to ‘The Guardian’ in the session of control to the Government, Johnson, “merely stated that he had paid the costs “personally”, but did not deny having received a donation or a loan of 58,000 pounds from a Conservative and party donor, David Brownlow , to pay the bills, although there is no record of such a transaction having taken place.”
The first person implicated in the ‘Wallpapergate’ is Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister may not have declared how he paid for the works. Moreover, this scandal could affect his popularity levels just a few days before regional and local elections are held in the country.
Dominic Cummings. He was Johnson’s advisor, as well as the architect of the Brexit, and last week he accused him of having sought during 2020 “donors who secretly paid” for the works. Cummings claims that he had warned on several occasions that it was something “probably illegal”. Since his departure as an advisor to the prime minister in November, he has leaked numerous pieces of information to the press that could jeopardize the stability of the Cabinet.
Carrie Symonds. She is Boris Johnson’s current partner and was the overseer of the work. Cummings revealed that she had been inspired by designer Lulu Lytle to redecorate the apartment. In addition, ‘Daily Mail’ gathers that Boris Jonhson said “she is buying gold wallpaper. It costs tens and tens of thousands….. I can’t afford it” to inform his team about the cost the renovations were acquiring.
Lulu Lytle. She is the designer Symonds would have been inspired by and would be behind the refurbishment work. She is the founder of the Soane Britain brand, which is dedicated to making traditional and eco-friendly handcrafted furniture, and has a background in antiques.
Lord David Brownlow. He is a millionaire donor to the Conservative party and who allegedly donated the extra £58,000 cost of the refurbishment. He is one of the great fortunes of England and, in addition, one of the great donors of the conservative party since in the last years he would have contributed more than 3 million pounds. ‘The Times’ has even described him as someone who “has gone out of his way to suck up to every Conservative prime minister in recent years”.
Ben Elliot. He is the co-chairman of the Tories and, according to media reports, was aware of the works and cost overruns. In addition, it seems that he also knew about Brownlow’s donation. According to information published by ‘Daily Mail’, “his email address was copied in an email sent by Brownlow to the head of fundraising for the Conservatives”. ‘The Times’ adds that the mail alludes to the 58,000 pounds plus another 15,000 to “cover payments the party has already made on behalf of the soon-to-be Downing Street Foundation.”
The mails speak of “Downing Street Foundation” because, according to several media, Johnson wanted to create a charity so that Tory Party donors could make their contribution, although from the official version they have always said that it is “a body inspired by the White House Trust” to support the president of the United States and raise funds to acquire art and antiques.