Boris Johnson stayed at Lord Goldsmith's Spanish home for free

  • Published
Zac Goldsmith and Boris JohnsonImage source, Getty Images

Boris Johnson has confirmed he stayed for free at a holiday home owned by the family of Lord Zac Goldsmith - who received a peerage from the PM in 2019.

The list of ministers' interests says the PM has "a longstanding personal friendship" with the family and "in that capacity" stayed at their place in southern Spain last month.

Downing Street had previously refused to confirm if the trip had happened.

Labour said it was "more evidence of the sleaze engulfing this government".

"It's obvious to everyone that the prime minister is dishing out cushy jobs to his mate who pays for his luxury holidays," said the party's deputy leader Angela Rayner.

"Yet again Boris Johnson behaves like it's one rule for him and another for everyone else."

The party is also calling for an inquiry into why the holiday has not been declared on the Register of Members' Interests - a separate declaration made by all MPs, not just ministers.

Lord Goldsmith is close friend of the prime minister's wife and gave her her first job in politics.

He lost his seat as an MP for Richmond Park in 2019, but retained his job as an environment minister after Mr Johnson appointed him to the House of Lords.

At the time, Labour condemned the appointment as "jobs for mates".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Boris Johnson stayed on the island of Mustique, shortly after winning the 2019 general election

Mr Johnson has previously been criticised over being slow to explain how his holiday to the Caribbean island of Mustique was funded.

An investigation by the Committee on Standards found he had not broken the rules but criticised the arrangements as "ad hoc and informal".

The government is supposed to publish a list of any financial benefits received by ministers twice a year.

The most recent list includes the declaration that: "The prime minister has a longstanding personal friendship with the Goldsmith family and, in that capacity, in October 2021, stayed in a holiday home in southern Spain which was provided free of charge by the Goldsmiths.

"Given Lord Goldsmith is a minister of the crown, the arrangement has accordingly been declared."

Mr Johnson may also declare the holiday gift in the register of MPs' interests, which is likely to include details about the cost of the donation.