Boris Johnson has been reminded of the time he claimed from the taxpayers’ money pot for a Remembrance Sunday wreath.
The prime minister, who was mayor of London at the time, insisted the £16.50 cost for the tribute had been ‘mistakenly added’ to his expenses.
He later said he forked the sum out of his own pocket and “happily” paid for it when it was pointed out to him.
According to the Evening Standard, Johnson had been “unaware” of the 2006 claim – but an invoice from the Thame town council was passed on to the fees office by a staff member.
The former Oxfordshire MP, how now represents Uxbridge and South Ruislip, had also received around £185,000 for his second home in Henley – costs which covered for his mortgage and council tax.
At the time, Johnson had an MP salary with a main home in Islington worth £3 million.
According to the newspaper, the taxpayer “only” paid for two-thirds of Johnson’s “large” mortgage and he fronted the remainder.
Second home money from taxpayers
“South Oxfordshire is one of the most expensive areas in the UK for property and my claims under the second home allowance covered only a proportion of my mortgage interest payments,” Johnson said at the time.
He added: “I have not sold the house nor changed its designation. I claimed my council tax and utilities, but otherwise did not claim a single thing – not even a bath plug.”
The year before the story emerged, Johnson earned £64,766 and external income between £340,000 and £405,000.
Earlier this year, the now prime minister sparked outrage again when it was revealed that he splashed up to £200,000 on refurbishing his Downing Street flat.
Refurbishment money versus nurses pay rise
This means the pay increase for NHS nurses he promised at the time was worth less than half a roll of his flat wallpaper, despite a year on the frontline, tackling the Covid pandemic.
The refurbishment included wallpaper that cost £840 a roll, a Baby Bear sofa that cost £9,800, a Lilly Drum table at £3,000 and an armchair at £5,900.
Labour leader Keir Starmer called on Johnson to reveal “who paid for it in the first place” after the Electoral Commission launched a formal investigation into the matter.
Earlier this year as the UK came through a deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic the government recommended that NHS staff in England should receive a paltry 1 per cent pay increase.The move, which was widely criticised by unions, equates to just £330 additional income per year for the average nurse, and just £250 for a newly qualified Band 5 NHS Nurse, according to the Royal College of Nursing – which, amid rising prices and taxes, has been criticised as being even more insignificant.