Who hasn’t had a £200,000 home redecoration bill paid by a friendly donor without knowing their identity? That’s what happened to the Prime Minister, who only found out the name of the generous soul who paid for his wallpaper by reading the newspapers.

This incuriosity has been declared “unwise” by the man appointed by the PM to investigate such matters.
Boris was forced to pick up the full tab for the renovation last month, following a backlash over concerns about corruption. The Electoral Commission is still looking into other suspicious spending sprees by the PM, including the use of public funds for his son’s childcare.

The revelation from Lord Geidt, whose report into ministerial conduct was released today, further criticised him for failing to “proceed without more rigorous regard for how [the renovation] would be funded.”

To be fair, £200,000 isn’t something to worry about when you’re spending £3,500 a month on takeaway dinners. But the man Boris had appointed last month to look into “ministerial interests” is a stickler, with ten years as the Queen’s Private Secretary. Christopher Geidt clearly has a sense of humour too, with that use of the word “unwise” – establishment code for “absolute bloody outrage” and “chicanery and charlatanry.”

Geidt adds that Boris is not the only one to blame for the misstep, criticising officials who failed to notify the PM about the donation earlier for it to be declared.

So Boris is in the clear, it seems, from charges of corruption but not from charges that he failed to pay attention and failed to ask questions. Did he really have no idea that Lord Brownlow, the peer who donated the money, had made such a contribution to the refurb plans? It seems so.

This is another strand in the ongoing feud between Dominic Cummings and the PM – with the PM’s former senior adviser claiming this week that Boris intended to “secretly pay for the renovation” using donor money.