Boris Johnson has wine, caviar and olive oil confiscated for exceeding limits on gifts

Adam Forrest
·1-min read
Boris Johnson (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has had wine, caviar and other luxury items confiscated by the Cabinet Office because they would have broken corruption rules, the government has revealed.

The prime minister was also given a painting, a sculpture, Scotch whisky and some expensive olive oil – but they were all removed because they all exceeded strict limits on freebies.

The ministerial code, aimed at preventing individuals exerting indue influence over our politicians, means MPs cannot accept any gifts valued over £140.  

Mr Johnson was also gifted a “futuristic” strategy game similar to chess, and a pen and pen holder set, but won’t get the chance to use them.

The wine – a present from the government of Hungary – will remain uncorked after being taken away by Cabinet Office officials for “disposal”.  

The latest Cabinet Office data release also reveals that Mr Johnson held meetings with leading media and philanthropic figures in recent months.

The PM met with Aidan Barclay and Howard Barclay, the owners of The Telegraph Group, on 19 May. Two days later, Mr Johnson met The Daily Telegraph’s editor Chris Evans.

The government stated that he also spoke to Bill and Melinda Gates on 19 May to discuss “global efforts to tackle Covid-19 and the forthcoming Global Vaccine Summit”.  

But there was no information provided on what he talked about with The Telegraph Group’s senior figures.

When asked by The Independent about the reason for the meetings, Downing Street refused to say what specific issues were discussed by Mr Johnson and the newspaper executives.

Mr Johnson had been paid £275,000 a year for his weekly column for the newspaper, but the arrangement came to an end when he entered No 10 last year.

Read more

Is Danny Dyer right about Boris Johnson?