Dramatic scenes in Westminster and the Electoral Commission query into the repair of Boris Johnson’s flat fill the front pages of many British papers.
The Guardian leads on the PM’s “fury” over the inquiry into what has become called the “cash for drapes” affair. With sweeping powers to call witnesses and refer matters to the police, it reports the watchdog stating the investigation was essential because it currently believed there were “reasonable grounds” to believe payments for renovations to the PM’s flat could make up offences.
The Times concentrates on issue inside No 10 over a what the newspaper calls a damaging “paper trail” associated with the repair, adding that the commission has the power to purchase any specific, including Johnson and his bride-to-be, Carrie Symonds, to hand over text, e-mails and “other details thought about relevant to the examination”.
The Financial Times leads on the calls for “formal probes into who paid for Downing St facelift”, stating the electoral watchdog “thinks offense” and that No 10 says no rule was broken.
The i reports that the PM will have to give evidence to the watchdog, adding that the case might be passed to the police for criminal investigation “if it is suspected that any failure to declare funding for the job was intentional”.
The Telegraph benches the story to a down-page spot, also noting that Johnson might be forced to turn over e-mails about the flat. It includes that Conservative celebration chiefs and federal government consultants might likewise be ordered to share interactions and monetary files with the watchdog, “with evaluations of the party’s headquarters a possibility”.
The Daily Mirror states Johnson the “judge at his own trial” with the kicker: “Sleaze scandal grows”.
The Daily Mail, in keeping with the redecoration theme, has “Boris painted into a corner”. It describes the Electoral Commissions move as a “bombshell”, keeping in mind that “no prime minister has actually ever been talked to under caution in relation to an alleged breach of the law”. It adds that Johnson “madly informed MPs … that he had settled the bill with his own cash”.
The Star has gone for it with the heading “Correct fancy wallpaper for each prime minister” over a cut-out of a roll of the angering wall covering.
Here is a better take a look at the wallpaper of choice:
Pun of the day goes to the Metro and its inspired headline: “Interior resign”. The paper reports “fury at flat refurb”.
The Express relegates the story to an image just spot in the leading right hand corner with the headline “Angry PM strikes back over ‘flatgate'”