Is this really news? BBC viewers furious as Dan Walker probes Coffey on PMs flat refurb
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For the third day in a row, the cost of the flat refurbishment was top of the news agenda with BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker quizzing the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about how the redecoration was paid for. Both Coffey and viewers became irritated as Walker repeatedly asked about the flat and even came up with hypothetical situations.
Walker asked: “The flat refurbishment at Downing Street. Can you try and clear up for our viewers this morning, did the Conservative Party or private donations pay for any of those costs, including a loan of the refurbishment of that flat at Downing Street?”
“The only thing I do know is the Prime Minister has said that he paid for the expenses of the redecoration,” Coffey replied.
“I don’t have any other information Dan which has been shared with me. That’s what the PM said and I take him absolutely at his word.”
Walker probed: “Do you appreciate that I’m aware there will be some people this morning who are thinking, ‘Just move on,’ but there are many others concerned about where that money came from.
“Whether it initially came from a loan or donation which allowed the Prime Minister to then make that payment.”
“The only information that I am aware of is that the Prime Minister has made the payment,” Coffey repeated.
“He’s the leader of the Conservative Party, he’s the Prime Minister, it’s unusual perhaps for people to notice we have two flats in Downing Street, one is used by the Prime Minister, the other is used by the Chancellor, it is quite usual for redecorations to be done.”
Walker agreed: “It is quite usual for redecorations to be done and there is a budget of £30,000 a year. I’m sure because of the scrutiny around this, a lot of our viewers are aware of that.
“But I’m sure Thérèse Coffey you’ll appreciate because of the situation around lobbying at the moment, because this money, potentially, if it did happen, could have come from a business person, that’s why surely you’ll appreciate it’s an important issue to try and get to the bottom of.”
“Well the Prime Minister has said he made the payment,” Coffey answered.
“Simon Case was in parliament yesterday, he was in front of parliament discussing this and is investigating this himself. He said that he would share that with the Select Committee who scrutinise parliament on a number of issues including this.”
Those tuning in to the interview, were quick to take to Twitter and complain about Walker’s repeated questioning over the Prime Minister’s flat.
One wrote: “Now bored of Boris’s flat, move on, is this really news #BBCBreakfast.”
Another posted: “I absolutely don’t give a sh*t about #BorisJohnson’s flat! #BBCbreakfast.”
“#BBCBreakfast please please please move on from decoration gate, the public don’t care,” a third tweeted.
Someone else continued: “F**k sake Dan, any chance of changing the question.
“Two days of who’s paid for Boris flat #BBCBreakfast.”
A fifth posted: “‘Our viewers are interested in’… the PM’s flat. Really?! #BBCBreakfast.”
BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am.
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