Most families and cohabiting couples in the real world would be very content if their home, or flat, had been furnished by John Lewis, a bellwether of the high street and British retail excellence which has now shut its Sheffield and York stores amongst others.
Now it will be for the innumerable inquiries to determine whether the funding of the makeover for Mr Johnson’s flat, as distinct from its opulence, contravened any Ministerial rules and the onus is on the PM to match the transparency demonstrated by previous occupants.
Long before this controversy became disclosed, there was, in fact, a case to be made for reviewing how Downing Street is run as the centre of government – and whether prime ministers deserve more generous allowances rather than subsidising costs via their own wealth (or mysterious donors).
Yet this now appears secondary after fresh allegations emerged that a Conservative donor was asked to help pay for childcare arrangements for baby Wilfred, the now one-year-old son of Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds. Though strongly denied, such suspicion will maintain – and detract from wider political matters – until the PM proves that his own house is belatedly in order.
After all, childcare costs will strike a chord with many. And, just as the Government expects families to live within their means, Boris Johnson, too, needs to uphold this maxim before those who have given him the benefit of doubt due to the Covid pandemic do start to conclude that he is, in fact, out of touch with voters after deciding that John Lewis was not good enough for him.
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