- Boris Johnson received a bicycle, helmet, and sunglasses from Joe Biden as part of a gift exchange.
- UK transparency logs show Johnson did not pay to keep the gift, which ministers are meant to do.
- But he’s still using it, The Times of London reported.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to purchase the £1,000 ($US1,500 ($AU2,011)) custom bicycle gifted to him by President Joe Biden, but according to a new report, is continuing to use it anyway.
Under the Ministerial Code, gifts given to ministers in an official capacity become the property of the UK Government. If the gifts are worth more than £140, ministers must pay the cost of the item minus £140 to take it into their possession.
A transparency release from 10 Downing Street revealed that Johnson left the bicycle, helmet, and sunglasses to the government. Biden gifted the items at the G20 summit this June.
-Bern Helmets (@BernUnlimited) June 16, 2021
Johnson has also not paid for a leather tote bag and presidential silk scarf gifted to his wife, Carrie Johnson, by the US first lady Jill Biden.
But despite the bicycle belonging to the government and having not paid for it, Johnson is reported to be using it anyway, in line with a long trend of his not paying for things.
Johnson rides the bike around Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat, according to The Times of London. It is unclear how Johnson would have been able to ride a bicycle belonging to the government.
10 Downing Street did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Johnson was an avid cyclist while serving as mayor of London. According to The Telegraph, Johnson was so taken with the red, white, and blue bicycle gifted to him by Biden that he placed an order through the US State Department for a tricycle of the same design for his son Wilfred.
The bicycle was designed by Stephen Bilenky in Philadelphia. Bilenky declined to comment when Insider asked for an update on the tricycle purchase.
The only gift from a world leader Johnson did pay for was a leather bracelet worth more than £140 gifted to Carrie Johnson by French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte Macron, the Downing Street release showed.
In June, Johnson’s gift to Biden in return was a framed printed photograph found on Wikipedia of an Edinburgh mural depicting Frederick Douglass.
Johnson’s track record of not paying for things includes getting Tory donors to pay for his flat’s refurbishment and a £15,000 Caribbean holiday.
One final gift recorded in Johnson’s transparency log was a painting by the artist Mary Casserley of him, Carrie Johnson, and their son Wilfred at Chequers.
While previous reports suggested Johnson bought the original, Casserley told Insider that “after much faffing about between myself and his secretary” Johnson bought an A4 signed print for £25 instead.
Casserley later decided to donate the original painting and received a letter of thanks. Johnson has not purchased the original from the government, the log shows.