Boris Johnson ‘continuing to work’ while on holiday at Marbella villa

Downing Street has said Boris Johnson is continuing to work on Government business while on holiday following the Conservative Party conference last week.

The Prime Minister ‘s official spokesman said he had taken a call from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and was being updated on the work to address supply chain problems.

Johnson has come under fire for going on holiday to Marbella in Spain while the energy crisis is in full flow.

A spokesman for Johnson said: “The Prime Minister continues to be in charge as is always the case. The Prime Minister has taken calls with leaders already and there will be others to follow.

“The Prime Minister has been kept regularly updated on the ongoing work to address the current issues around fuel and supply chains.

“He is in regular contact with ministers and No 10.

“He is also continuing to take calls particularly in the run-up to Cop26.”

The spokesman refused to be drawn on reports that Johnson is staying at the Marbella villa of Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, or to say whether he had paid for the holiday himself.

“Any declarations that need to be made will be made in the normal way, but I don’t have anything to add to that.

“I wouldn’t get into anything on location for security reasons,” the spokesman said.

Home Office minister Damian Hinds defended the Prime Minister’s decision to go on holiday, asking “when is the right time?” when pressed about whether Johnson should have travelled abroad.

Industry leaders have criticised Johnson for the holiday, while Labour has called on the Government to get a “grip” on the “chaotic” crisis the UK is facing.

Sky News asked Hinds if now was the right time for the Prime Minister to go on holiday, and he replied: “I think it is important that people do have an opportunity to be with their families to have some relaxing, unwinding.

“But I wouldn’t want to overstate the amount of unwinding and relaxing you get to do as prime minister because as I say you are constantly in touch, you are constantly being briefed and you remain in charge of the Government.”

He later added: “What is important for the rest of us actually, for the whole country, is that the Prime Minister does get to have some family time, does get to have a break.”

Labour shadow Treasury minister Pat McFadden said he “doesn’t care” whether or not Johnson is currently on holiday.

The MP, also a former shadow business secretary, said: “I honestly don’t care where he is. What I want is grip from the Government.

“Whether he’s in Spain, whether he is in the UK, it seems just as chaotic when the Prime Minister is here.

“So, frankly, I’m not concerned whether he’s on holiday or not. What I want is grip from the Government, and we haven’t got that at the moment.”

Gareth Stace, the director general of UK Steel, said of the trip: “I’m sure he can get on the phone and get talking to them but to my mind, now is not the time for a prime minister to be on holiday, from the steel sector point of view.”

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