THE ROW over the cost of renovating Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat continues – but the PM insists he paid for the decorations himself.
Following allegations Mr Johnson used Tory donor money, a profile on his fiancee Carrie Symonds suggests how previous tenant Theresa May's decor was labelled a "John Lewis nightmare".
What is the Boris Johnson 'John Lewis nightmare'?
A controversial update of the decor in the Prime Minister's flat was reportedly inspired by a desire to get rid of the "John Lewis furniture nightmare" left over by Theresa May.
The couple reportedly decided to redecorate their flat in 11 Downing Street when they moved in.
The description of the flat – attributed to a visitor – was included in a Tatler article on Ms Symonds.
A friend of Ms Symonds told The Daily Mail: “The makeover is appropriate for a building of such huge importance. Carrie has exquisite taste.
“It is classic, stunning, stylish and chic. She should be congratulated not criticised.”
Some reports suggest the upgrades hit the £200,000 mark, while a leaked email suggested Tory peer Lord Brownlow was making a £58,000 donation to the Conservatives 'to cover the payments the party has already made on behalf of the soon-to-be-formed 'Downing Street Trust'.
However, during PMQ's yesterday (Wednesday April 29, 2021, Mr Johnson insisted he "paid for the refurbishment myself" and said that he had abided by the ministerial code.
Current guidelines suggest a Prime Minister can claim up to £30,000 for costs towards refurbishments and decorations.
How has John Lewis responded?
John Lewis has taken a light-hearted view of the story and offered a cheeky reply to the comments on social media – saying they have something for "almost" everyone.
The department store posted on Twitter: "Time for an interiors refresh?
"We pride our Home Design Service on having something for *almost* everyone."
And in a separate tweet alongside a picture of one of the company's lorries parked outside Downing Street, they joked: "Good thing we have a recycling service for old pre-loved furniture."
How did Theresa May decorate the Downing Street flat?
Reports suggest the Downing Street flat current look includes Persian rugs, cream walls with gold hangings and gold chandeliers.
But before the recent upgrades, the flat was believed to be relatively unchanged since David and Samantha Cameron lived there.
Former PM Theresa May reportedly only added a few pieces of "statement" furniture in the flat.
These, according to the Evening Standard, include a £100 John Lewis chrome table lamp and a glass-topped Habitat coffee table worth £195.
Other pieces reportedly include a red three-seater sofaand a £42 rose-scented Diptyque candle.
How much does John Lewis furniture cost?
John Lewis furniture comes in a range of prices – with sofas costing anything between £699 to £2,649.
Floor lamps on the department store's website range from £30 to £250.
However, the John Lewis & Partner company have recently launched their Anyday collection, which encompasses more than 2,400 products for every area of your home.
While some of the range is comprised of existing lines that John Lewis has absorbed under the Anyday umbrella, much of it is completely new and accessibly priced.
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