The Electoral Commission has launched a formal investigation.

They will be examining exactly how Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishments to his Downing Street flat.

It made headlines earlier this week, with claims Johnson was given a £58,000 loan from a Conservative donor and peer. The money was given to pay for redecorations to the No 11 residence.

Minsters and the Conservatives have not denied the reports, so the watchdog escalated things. They announced their decision an hour before the Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday.

In addition to these earlier reports, a new adviser on ministerial standards has been picked, after the role remained unfilled for months.

The previous advisor was Sir Alex Allan. He quit the role earlier, after the Prime Minister overruled his finding that Priti Patel, the home secretary, had been bullying staff. Allan ruled that she had breached ministerial codes.

Replacement

Christopher Geidt has been announced as Allan’s replacement.

Geidt was a private secretary to the Queen for a decade until 2017.

It’s believed that negotiations over Lord Geidt’s role have been taking place for weeks.

He faces quite the first task. Geidt will be put in charge of an immediate inquiry into the flat refurbishment payments.

Boris Johnson denies that he did anything wrong.

The government says Johnson met all costs of the refurbishment “personally”. They also say that no party funds were used.

Pressure

There has been growing pressure for the PM to admit what happened with the funding.

One of the cabinet ministers urged him to “start with the truth.”

Meanwhile, a Tory MP admitted: “There’s a reasonable set of questions that need to be answered – our position at the moment isn’t ideal.”

The watchdog will be looking at “whether any transactions relating to the works at 11 Downing Street fall” have breached legal donation reporting requirements.

It added: “There are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred.” The commission has the power to issue “disclosure notices” requiring people and organisations to provide documents and information.

Scandal

The scandal first came out when Dominic Cummings posted a blog.

In the post, he made the shocking claims that the prime minister revealed his “plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation”.

On the blog, Cummings said he warned Johnson that the plans were “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations”.

Labour’s lawyers wrote to the watchdog calling for an investigation into “potential offences or other actions that may have contravened” the legislation governing political parties’ spending.

Meanwhile, on social media people have been defending John Lewis, after it was alleged that Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds described Theresa May’s decor as a “John Lewis nightmare”.

Of course, Piers Morgan has had his say, too.