Boris Johnson had cousin act as ‘guarantor for an £800,000 credit facility’ while PM

Former prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly used a millionaire cousin as a guarantor for an £800,000 credit facility (Peter Byrne/PA)

Boris Johnson used a distant millionaire relative to act as a guarantor for an £800,000 credit facility while he was in Downing Street, according to a report. According to The Sunday Times, Canadian businessman Sam Blyth, reportedly worth 50 million dollars, agreed to act as a guarantor for a credit facility for the-then Prime Minister. According to the report, Mr Blyth is a friend of Mr Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson. Their mothers were said to be cousins.

A spokesman for the former Conservative leader, when asked about the report, said all of Mr Johnson’s finances “are and were properly declared”. He said advice was sought from UK Government officials and ethics advisers before any personal arrangements were made.

The credit was said to be available from February 2021 to help with Mr Johnson’s “day-to-day expenses”. The newspaper said he needed the financial provision despite earning £164,000 as Prime Minister, with an anonymous source cited as saying Mr Johnson was on the verge of “going broke” and there were fears that he “would not be able to pay his own annual tax bill”.

Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie are also said to have used a Dominican Republic property owned by Mr Blyth, suggesting it was where he was holidaying when Liz Truss, his successor, was ousted from Downing Street. Mr Blyth reportedly advertises the Caribbean holiday villa at £4,100 per night.

The Sunday Times said using Mr Blyth as a guarantor was signed off by the Cabinet Office propriety and ethics team on the condition that there was “no conflict of interest, no risk of a conflict of interest, and no risk even of the perception of such a conflict”.

Another freebie for BJ … seemingly, he can’t live without other people’s money or gifts … :roll_eyes:

This was in the New Statesman in 2019.
." The Conservative Party has imposed upon Britain, at a time of profound national crisis, a prime minister who is spectacularly unfit for the job, both morally and politically. It has installed in an office once held by the likes of Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee a liar, an adulterer and a pedlar of fantasies who is so utterly lacking in principle and integrity that he is willing to sacrifice the nation’s future on the altar of his own ambition. "
You can’t say you weren’t told.

I didn’t need to be told - I already knew … :man_shrugging:

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When I said “you” I meant the UK not you personally :grinning:

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Even now there are mugs who believe in BJ - no amount of telling will change their minds … :man_shrugging:

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The condition of the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics Team’s sign-off was that there was “no conflict of interest, no risk of a conflict of interest, and no risk even of the perception of such a conflict”.

It must be just a coincidence that while Johnson was liaising with officials over his agreement with Mr Blyth - December 2020 / early 2021 - Mr Blyth himself was being considered as a candidate to be the next CEO of the public body of the British Council.

I’m sure it must have been coincidental and no string-pulling or scratching of backs was involved in either of these two completely separate events.

In any event, Blyth was not selected for the role, so if there was a quid pro quo, he got short-changed in the deal! - either it was just an innocent coincidence or BoJo is not as influential as he promised his Coz! :rofl:

The Sunday Times says Richard Sharp was involved in arranging a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 for Mr Johnson. Mr Sharp said he had “simply connected” people and there was no conflict of interest.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said he did not receive financial advice from Mr Sharp. He also dismissed Labour’s suggestion Mr Johnson could have breached the code of conduct for MPs “through failing to appropriately declare the arrangement” on his Parliamentary register of interests.

Mr Johnson was reported to be in financial difficulty in late 2020. The Sunday Times says multimillionaire Canadian businessman Sam Blyth - a distant cousin of Mr Johnson - raised with Mr Sharp the idea of acting as Mr Johnson’s guarantor for a loan. It is not clear where the loan agreement itself came from.

Mr Sharp - a Conservative Party donor who at the time was applying to be the chairman of the BBC - contacted Simon Case, the then-cabinet secretary and head of the civil service. The paper says a due diligence process was then instigated. The Cabinet Office later wrote a letter telling Mr Johnson to stop seeking Mr Sharp’s advice about his personal finances, given the forthcoming BBC appointment, the Times says.

According to the paper, Mr Sharp, Mr Blyth and Mr Johnson had dinner together at Chequers before the loan guarantee was finalised, although they deny the PM’s finances were discussed then.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Mr Sharp was announced as the government’s choice for the new BBC chairman in January 2021. The role is recommended by the culture secretary and the prime minister.

Labour’s chairwoman Anneliese Dodds has written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Daniel Greenberg, asking for “an urgent investigation into the facts of this case”.

In her letter to the commissioner, Ms Dodds cites the Sunday Times story, saying she was concerned that Mr Johnson may have breached rules “by asking for an individual to facilitate a guarantee on a loan whom he would later appoint to a senior public role”. She said that a “lack of transparency” may “give the impression that this was a quid pro quo arrangement, something which would undermine the integrity of the democratic process, and calls into question the process by which the chairman of the BBC was appointed”.

“quid pro quo” - then BJ gets “quid pro nihil” … :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Mr Sharp is under scrutiny over his links to the former prime minister and his role in talks over an £800,000 loan.

He said he was confident he was “appointed on merit” and welcomed a review.

Speaking to the BBC, he said he “absolutely” feels comfortable about being the face of BBC impartiality, a fundamental part of how the organisation is expected to operate, despite questions which have emerged this week.

He rejected suggestions he should stand down pending the findings of an investigation by William Shawcross, the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Mr Sharp said he welcomed that scrutiny and had taken steps to ensure “due process was followed by the book”.

Time will tell … :thinking:

Links between Boris Johnson and BBC chairman Richard Sharp are under fresh scrutiny, following a report that the then-prime minister was told to stop asking Mr Sharp for financial advice.

The leaked memo, reported by the Sunday Times, was sent weeks before Mr Sharp was appointed to the corporation. > The new leaked memo allegedly says: “Given the imminent announcement of Richard Sharp as the new BBC chair, it is important that you no longer ask his advice about your personal financial matters.”

Last week Mr Sharp said that he had not given advice to the former prime minister. BBC News has been told Mr Sharp’s position remains unchanged.

However, his appointment is to be investigated by the public appointments commissioner as well as an internal panel. He has also been asked to appear before the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s select committee to be grilled by MPs.

The Conservative government has also faced attacks from opposition parties over the appointment of Mr Sharp, whose role as BBC chairman is to uphold the broadcaster’s independence.

According to the Sunday Times, the memo warning to Mr Johnson, said to be from Mr Case, was sent on 22 December 2020 - about two weeks before his government announced Mr Sharp’s appointment as the new BBC chairman.

Mr Johnson is said to have secured his loan for £800,000 the following month.

He was reportedly told he could take out the loan - without declaring it - as long as his guarantor Mr Blyth had no “business or personal interests in the UK” beyond his family ties.

But Mr Blyth was on a government list of recommended candidates for the British Council, without senior figures in the public body realising his relation to Mr Johnson, the Sunday Times reported.

Mr Blyth told the paper that his name was suggested by others, that he never formally decided to apply, and that he ultimately ruled himself out of the running.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman told the BBC that he and his team had been unaware that Sam Blyth was being considered for a role at the British Council.

IMO, blatant corruption and cronyism … :exclamation:

An alternative investigator is set to be drafted in to review how the appointment, announced in January 2021, was made.

Mr Shawcross revealed his decision to step back from the probe in a letter to the chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

In the letter, he added he had decided on the move because he had met Mr Sharp on “previous occasions,” without offering further details. He did not give a timeline for when his replacement would be found.

Mr Sharp’s appointment is also set to be examined in a separate probe from the BBC board, which will examine his current personal interests for any conflicts.

Presumably, any Tory appointed will be related, an “old boy” or a member of the right club … :roll_eyes: