Poll: More than half of Scots believe Boris Johnson is 'corrupt'

A majority of people in Scotland think the Prime Minister’s behaviour over the Tory sleaze scandal is “unacceptable”, according to a new poll, as a senior minister insisted Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat out of his own pocket.

A poll has found that 53 per cent of Scots believe Boris Johnson to be "corrupt".

The Opinium polling for the Observer revealed 37 per cent of people across the UK think Boris Johnson is "corrupt", rising to 53% in Scotland. Around the same proportion also view the Prime Minister’s party as "corrupt", 38 per cent in the UK as a whole, and 52 per cent in Scotland.

On the James Dyson 'texts for contracts' affair, 55 per cent of people across the UK say the Prime Minister’s behaviour was "unacceptable" which rises to 65 per cent of Scots.

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The poll adds more pressure on No10, after Labour demanded a fresh investigation be set up to look more rigorously into claims of impropriety around Dyson and the banker Lex Greensill, who used former prime minister David Cameron to lobby on his behalf, as well as the new scandal around the £200,000 refurbishment of Mr Johnson’s official flat.

A revelatory blogpost by his former adviser Dominic Cummings claimed Mr Johnson had told him of a plan to “have donors secretly pay for the renovation” to the No 11 flat where he lives with his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, and son Wilfred.

Mr Cummings said the plan was “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations.”

The Electoral Commission is investigating, despite the government claiming on Friday that Johnson personally paid the bills. Today international trade secretary, Liz Truss, repeated that statement and dismissed a “stream of allegations about personal issues”.

She insisted Mr Johnson acted within the rules and tried to play down claims he had tried to suppress an inquiry into who leaked news of England’s second national lockdown because it found Henry Newman, a No 10 staffer and friend of Ms Symonds, was responsible.

She called the questions on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday a “huge distraction” from the success of the coronavirus vaccine programme, and said: “The proper information has been declared in the public domain.”

Commenting, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said: “The longer Boris Johnson stays in hiding and dodges accountability, the more overpowering the stench of sleaze surrounding him and his government becomes.

“There is now growing suspicion that the Prime Minister broke the rules by failing to declare payments for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat. The Electoral Commission's rules are clear, and it is critical that there is now full disclosure over his dealings.

“The comments from Dominic Cummings that Johnson’s plans to secretly use a Tory donor pay for the renovation were ‘unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations’ raises very serious questions that cannot be brushed under the carpet.

“And his Trade Secretary’s refusal to deny that a Tory donor originally funded it tells you all you need to know about the smoke and mirrors manner in which this corrupt Tory government operates.

“Rather than hiding behind Tory ministers, Boris Johnson must now come before Parliament and answer these very serious questions for himself.”

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