A senior Conservative MP has defended Boris Johnson’s work ethic and claimed he is “continuing to work” while away on his second holiday in two weeks.
The prime minister, who has less than a month left in office, has now reportedly jetted off to Greece for a week – shortly after returning from an earlier trip.
The holidays are taking place despite surging inflation and the threat of a looming recession.
But speaking on Monday former Cabinet minister and ex party chairman Brandon Lewis defended Mr Johnson, rejecting any suggestion that he had “thrown in the towel”.
“Even when you are not in the office in Downing Street you are working,” he told LBC radio.,
“He’s probably in about his second week [of] holiday in the last year or so, certainly this year.
“So while somebody is away, whether they are secretary of state or let alone the Prime Minister, they will be continuing to work.
“I can assure you he will still be going through inboxes, he will still be dealing with national security issues where relevant. Being out of the country does not mean the Prime Minister stops working.”
Less than a week after returning from their break to Slovenia, the prime minister and his wife Carrie were spotted in a supermarket in the Greek coastal town of Nea Makri, just east of the country’s capital Athens.
Mr Johnson’s father owns a villa in Greece, which the former Tory MEP notoriously visited during the Covid-19 lockdown while non-essential travel was banned.
Downing Street not commented on Mr Johnson’s plans or where he is staying.
Labour hit out at the Prime Minister, accusing him of treating his last few months in office as “one big party”.
It comes after the PM and his wife were pressured into relocating a wedding party for friends away from the prime minister’s Chequers country mansion.
“On the evidence of the last few months it seems to make little difference if the Prime Minister is in the office or on holiday as he has continually failed to meet the challenge of the Tory cost-of-living crisis,” a party spokesperson said.
“It’s all just one big party for Boris Johnson while the country struggles to pay their bills.”
But opposition leader Keir Starmer has also been criticised for apparently delaying policy announcements on the cost-of-living because he was away on holiday. Asked about the situation on Monday Sir Keir said it was important for him to spend time with his family.
“I’ve also got another job that’s really important, and that is I’m a dad, and I’m not going to apologise for going on holiday with my wife and kids. It’s the first time we’ve had a real holiday for about three years,” he told the BBC of his trip to Mallorca.