Do you remember Boris Johnson saying that a cabinet ministers salary of £141,000 is not enough to live on?
Now the poor man has his “gifts” taken away. Makes you weep. – Owl
The prime minister was also given a painting, a sculpture, Scotch whisky and some expensive olive oil – but they were all removed because they all exceeded strict limits on freebies.
The ministerial code, aimed at preventing individuals exerting undue influence over our politicians, means MPs cannot accept any gifts valued over £140.
Mr Johnson was also gifted a “futuristic” strategy game similar to chess, and a pen and pen holder set, but won’t get the chance to use them.
The wine – a present from the government of Hungary – will remain uncorked after being taken away by Cabinet Office officials for “disposal”.
The latest Cabinet Office data release also reveals that Mr Johnson held meetings with leading media and philanthropic figures in recent months.
The PM met with Aidan Barclay and Howard Barclay, the owners of The Telegraph Group, on 19 May. Two days later, Mr Johnson met The Daily Telegraph’s editor Chris Evans.
The government stated that he also spoke to Bill and Melinda Gates on 19 May to discuss “global efforts to tackle Covid-19 and the forthcoming Global Vaccine Summit”.
But there was no information provided on what he talked about with The Telegraph Group’s senior figures.
When asked by The Independent about the reason for the meetings, Downing Street refused to say what specific issues were discussed by Mr Johnson and the newspaper executives.
Mr Johnson had been paid £275,000 a year for his weekly column for the newspaper, but the arrangement came to an end when he entered No 10 last year.