POLITICS
25/04/2021 15:16 BST

Minister Has 'No Idea' When Register Of Ministers’ Interests Will Be Published

Labour says there is a "real stench" around the government.

PA Media
Boris Johnson

A cabinet minister has said she has no idea when the latest register of ministers’ interests will be published, amid a row over how Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, international trade secretary Liz Truss said the prime minister had paid for the refit himself. 

But she was unable to say where he got the money.

Labour has demanded the government publish the register before the local elections on May 6.

The register, which sets out the financial interests of ministers, was last published in July 2020 despite the ministerial code requiring it to be released “twice yearly”.

Asked when the latest version would be released, Truss said: “I’m sure it will be published.”

Marr asked Truss: “You could go back after this programme, literally press the send button and publish it. Why not?”

She said: “I’m sure it will be published in line with the rules.”

Pressed on if she had “any idea why it’s not been published”, Truss said: “No, I haven’t.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said there was a “real stench” around the government and called on Johnson to go to parliament on Monday to explain what happened.

Rayner said the commission should now launch a full inquiry and she called on the prime minister to publish the latest register of ministers’ interests which was now eight months overdue.

“These are serious allegations,” she told Marr.  “Why are they hiding the fact that ministers have to declare these donations and they’ve not done that? That’s serious. This is a real stench around what (the) government is about.”

The Electoral Commission – which first raised the issue with the Conservative Party more than a month ago – has said it is still looking into whether any of the sums relating to the work on the flat should have been declared under the rules on political donations.