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Christian MP tells people to pay more attention to the 'big picture' than the PM's wallpaper

by Chantalle Edmunds

The Conservative MP for South West Devon, Gary Streeter, has told Premier he believes the PM over accusations he did not pay for the redecoration of his Downing Street flat.

On Wednesday, during a heated Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson insisted he "personally" paid for the refurbishment. Questions have been mounting since former aide Dominic Cummings accused Mr Johnson of wanting donors to "secretly pay" for the renovations to his No 11 residence in a "possibly illegal" move. 

Christian MP, Gary Streeter, gave Premier his reaction to the allegations: "I wasn't in the room when these alleged comments were made or not made. What I think I am interested in, is, if the Prime Minister is saying he didn't say it, then I'm perfectly happy with that."

"It's important that our leaders are kept under pressure to be transparent, and to be clear and straightforward in their dealings. But I think most people, and I'm guessing most of your listeners would say, you know, we really care about the way that Covid issues are being handled, we care about the economy and so on. We've had enough now talking about the Prime Minister's wallpaper."

"The vaccination rollout is going well, we want to see that through the end of July, every adult needs to be vaccinated in this country. Of course, there's work being done on what the top up, or the booster vaccination program will look like looking forward. But now's the time to get our economy moving, again, to follow the roadmap to open up the pubs and restaurants and hotels on the 17th of May, everything else on the 21st of June, decide what changes we need to make for the long term in terms of big gatherings and get that job done. And then, you know, our country will recover, we can go back to some kind of new normality. So, let's forget the tittle tattle and focus on the big picture. And I'm sure we will do that."

On Wednesday, the PM was called 'Major Sleaze' by the Labour leader during an argumentative exchange on the Downing Street flat refurbishment. The questioning came less than an hour after the Electoral Commission announced its investigation into whether any financial transaction related to the renovations was properly declared.

The watchdog said there are "reasonable grounds" to suspect an offence may have occurred. Shortly after the commission's announcement, Mr Johnson told Prime Minister's Questions he "personally" paid for the renovations but refused to answer whether he received an initial loan from the Tory party. Mr Johnson told MPs that “any further declaration that I have to make, if any” will be advised by his newly appointed independent adviser on ministers’ interests, Lord Geidt.

The Prime Minister was also forced to deny having said he would rather see "bodies pile high" than impose a third coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Streeter told Premier how we can best be praying for the situation faced by the Prime Minister: "I think, first of all, as Christians, we should recognise that every character in the Bible apart from Jesus, who was perfect, was a flawed human being even the greats in the Old Testament, Abraham, David, Solomon, they all made huge mistakes. 

"We're going to have leaders who make mistakes, we're going to have leaders who are flawed individuals, what we want to judge them on is their leadership skills. And that's what I would encourage all of your listeners to think primarily about but to pray for all leaders of all political parties. It's one heck of a job, you know, pressure from all sides, so many different audiences to keep happy, and to reach out to pray, pray for them and for their families, that they might have the peace and space to make wise decisions."

Additional reporting by PA

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