Leaked bill of £ 200,000 reveals Johnson’s renovation costs of apartment

Details of the famous Wallpapergate scandal surrounding the renovation of Boris Johnson’s apartment, which according to some observers was the beginning of the Prime Minister’s end, have been revealed.

The Independent obtained a leaked copy of the renovation bill for the prime minister’s apartment in Downing Street, which cost more than £ 200,000 ($ 240,000).

The luggage that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie ordered from the famous decorator Lulu Little included a 3,675 pound ($ 4,410) liquor cart that was allegedly similar to that owned in Paris by the famous ballerina Rudolph Nureyev, as well as £ 2,260 “gold” wallpaper Sterling ($ 2712), about which Johnson privately complained that it was bought by his wife.

The account also included two benches worth more than £ 15,000 ($ 18,000), while £ 3,000 ($ 3,600) was spent on painting the corridor of the apartment, and the kitchen tablecloth was the cheapest piece, bought for £ 500. pounds (600 pounds). dollars).

The estimated cost of the construction work, which included sanding the floorboards, painting and decorating, and installing new furniture and fittings, was £ 30,000 ($ 36,000).

The leak of the Cabinet Office will reopen the long debate over the lavish refurbishment of the Johnsons’ Downing Street apartment.

The estimated cost of £ 208,104 (about $ 250,000) was sent to the Cabinet Office in early 2020, which budgeted for an annual £ 30,000 ($ 36,000) to refurbish the prime minister’s official Downing Street apartment in the early stages of work. .

In fact, the rest of the costs were secretly funded by Lord Brownlow and the Conservative Party until the scandal was brought to light and Johnson was asked to pay the costs out of his own money.

The leaked invoice shows the Johnsons ordered a £ 3,675 “Nuriev carriage” which was allegedly “inspired by the 1940s French drinking wagon of the famous ballerina Rudolph Nureyev”.

The couple also spent £ 15,120 on two sofas (plus £ 2,880 ($ 2,456) on the upholstery), £ 11,280 ($ 13,537) on eight dining room chairs, £ 7,000 ($ 8,400) on a rug and £ 4,200 ($ 5,040) on a chair. longue “, £ 3,800 ($ 4,560) on an antique mirror hung in the hallway, and £ 1,000 ($ 1,200) on a kitchen TV bench.

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The leaked invoice, sent from Little Britain’s Sun Britain, showed that the Johnsons had ordered a £ 6,000 ($ 7,200) lounge lamp with £ 2,500 ($ 3,000) for the color of the lamp.

Although the scandal was dubbed a “wallpaper gate”, materials actually cost much more than wall decor.

The most expensive item on the wallpaper bill was £ 2,260 ($ 2712) for 10 rolls of “espalier square design” wallpaper used for the entrance.

According to Son Britain’s website, Little proposes the design as a reflection of the overall effect of the fruit trees that form tunnels and pergolas in a 19th-century kitchen garden.

Although Dalia wallpaper is described as “emerald and stone linen” of color, it may appear golden under certain lighting, and this seems to be the reason behind Johnson’s furious remark that his wife “spends thousands on gold wallpaper”.

The bill for upholstery and curtains costs £ 21,280 ($ 25,500), including £ 3,200 ($ 3,840) for “32 meter red fern print” for the dining room curtains.

In January, Johnson was forced to apologize for hiding exchanges between himself and Lord Brownlow for Whitehall’s former ethics adviser, which contributed more than £ 50,000 ($ 60,000) to the apartment renovation.

In the report prepared by Lord Jaydet in connection with the renovation of the apartment in May 2021, the former chancellor said that Johnson had told him that he was not aware that Lord Brownlow had paid the money before the media reports that this case was the beginning of this year.

However, a separate investigation by the Electoral Commission’s watchdog revealed that Johnson sent a message to Lord Brownlow via WhatsApp about the November 2020 apartment renovation work.

Lord Gaydet, who resigned last month, reprimanded the prime minister for not disclosing the text messages but did not change his key decision that Johnson did not violate ministerial code of conduct.

There were reports in 2021 that the government office of the prime minister had borne the cost of the renovation, prepaid by the Conservative Party. After the scandal was revealed, the money was returned to the party’s headquarters and Johnson agreed to pay the bill, although it is not clear where he got the £ 178,000 ($ 213,000) from while the Cabinet Office did not pay part of the £ 30,000 of the renovations. .

It is noteworthy that Johnson, his wife and designer Little all declined to comment.

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