Boris Johnson is accused of breaking the ministerial code by flying in to campaign in by-election on taxpayer-funded private plane
- PM used taxpayer-funded official private plane to travel to Hartlepool in April
- Angela Rayner sought probe after Tories declared they spent ‘nil’ on transport
- Rules say MPs ‘must not use Government resources for party political purposes’
Labour demanded an inquiry last night into whether Boris Johnson broke the ministerial code by flying in to campaign in a by-election.
The Prime Minister used his taxpayer-funded official private plane to travel to Hartlepool in April.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner requested the probe after it emerged the Conservatives had declared they spent ‘nil’ on transport.
The rules say ministers ‘must not use Government resources for party political purposes’.
But the Tories denied breaking the code as Mr Johnson flew to the North-East for a Government visit to Middlesbrough.
He was then driven to Hartlepool in an official car, which a spokesman said is allowed for security reasons.
Mr Johnson flew to Teesside on April 1, five days after the campaign for Hartlepool began.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner (pictured) requested the probe after it emerged the Conservatives had declared they spent ‘nil’ on transport
He travelled by motorcade to a B&Q in Middlesbrough to promote a rise in the minimum wage then later met Tory candidate Jill Mortimer to visit a local company and a housing estate for door-knocking, leafleting and to chat to voters.
Yesterday Miss Rayner wrote to the Government’s ethics adviser Lord Geidt to demand an investigation.
‘Yet again the Prime Minister behaves like the rules don’t apply to him,’ she said. ‘Taxpayers’ money should not be abused to fund the Conservative Party’s election campaigns.
‘The Prime Minister has clearly broken the Ministerial Code, and this time he can’t play ignorant and pretend that he didn’t know what was going on.
‘The contempt with which the Prime Minister treats the laws governing election expenses and the rules that are supposed to uphold standards in our public life shows that he is only ever interested in helping himself, not acting in the interests of the British people.’
A Tory spokesman said: ‘CCHQ [Conservative Central Headquarters] covered all relevant costs associated with the political visit on 1st April in accordance with the Ministerial Code, and reported relevant candidate spending in accordance with the Representation of the People’s Act 1983.’
He said the Ministerial Code allows the use of a government car by the PM for political visits, for security reasons.
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