“Boris Johnson’s government has awarded £100,000 of taxpayers’ money to a company that donated to his leadership campaign in order to help it “prepare for Brexit” — despite the firm having already declared itself “Brexit ready”.
Bristol port will receive the six-figure payment to “help their preparations for Brexit on 31 October”, the Department for Transport told BuzzFeed News. It is one of 16 ports across the UK that has received a share of a £10 million funding pot, and the only one in the west of England.
The decision to hand Bristol port a large sum of taxpayer cash will raise conflict-of-interest questions, because just four months ago the Bristol Port Company made a £25,000 donation directly to Johnson ahead of the Conservative party leadership contest.
Johnson then stoked controversy when he endorsed a report calling for a Singapore-style tax-free port at Bristol during his campaign.
The payment will also raise eyebrows because, despite Transport secretary Grant Shapps saying the money is about “ensuring they are ready for Brexit”, the Bristol Port Company has previously insisted it is already “ready” for the UK to come out of the EU. …”