Boris Johnson is taking vacation again just weeks after returning from another summer break, as he enters his final weeks in Downing Street.
But a Tory MP insisted the Prime Minister was still working, as rivals in the Tory leadership race who hoped to replace him clashed over the cost of living crisis.
The Prime Minister, who will step down as Number 10 on September 6, vacationed at an eco-hotel in Slovenia earlier this month and is taking another break this week.
He will return to work this weekend, Downing Street said.
Critics earlier accused him of missing in action as pressure grew on the government to increase aid to households struggling with rising energy bills.
Financial journalist Martin Lewis called Mr Johnson’s administration a “zombie government” last week as forecasters warned of dizzying bill hikes from the first of several energy price cap hikes from October.
Now the outgoing prime minister is said to be on another break – this time in Greece.
The Times newspaper reports that Mr Johnson is spending a week’s holiday in the country, with locals seeing him shopping alongside his wife Carrie at a supermarket in Nea Makri, a town east of Athens.
Footage shared by Greek outlet Proto Thema captured the pair shopping.
On Monday, former cabinet minister Brandon Lewis defended the prime minister, rejecting any suggestions he threw in the towel.”
The Tory MP told LBC: Even when you’re not in the Downing Street office, you’re working.
He added: He’s probably in his second week (of) vacation in the last year or so, definitely this year. Thus, while someone is absent, whether he is secretary of state or even less prime minister, he will continue to work.
I can assure you that it will always come through the inboxes, it will always deal with national security issues, if any. Being outside the country does not mean that the Prime Minister stops working.
Boris and his wife Carrie were spotted in a supermarket while on vacation in Greece
But the Labor Party has slammed the prime minister, accusing him of treating recent months like a big party.”
A spokesman said: On the evidence of the past few months, it appears to make little difference whether the Prime Minister is in office or on vacation as he has still failed to rise to the challenge of the cost crisis of the lives of curators.
“It’s just a big celebration for Boris Johnson as the country struggles to pay its bills.
Downing Street has insisted the Prime Minister be kept informed of any pressing issues while on vacation this week.The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed on Monday that Mr Johnson was on leave and would return this weekend.
The spokesman told reporters that Mr Johnson had paid for his own vacation and would be kept informed of any urgent government business while he was away.
The Prime Minister is on vacation this week, he said.
As is the case with prime ministers, as you know from their role, they will obviously be kept informed of all pressing matters and will take decisions, especially those (related to) national security for example.
He added: If there were any urgent decisions that required PM input, of course he will participate. But the Deputy Prime Minister (Dominic Raab) can deputize for meetings if they arise, but as far as I know no such meetings are currently scheduled.
Asked if Boris Johnson’s vacation could have been delayed for a few weeks, his spokesman said: I can’t get into the timing decision, but he’s off this week. He will be back this weekend.
Mr Johnson has just a few weeks left in Downing Street and will step down from No 10 on September 6 and despite the holiday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman has said government activity is continuing.
Over the past few weeks we have made a number of important announcements and will continue to do so in the coming days.
Some of Mr Johnson’s previous trips have also sparked controversy.
The Prime Minister is said to have started a holiday in Somerset as the Taliban advanced towards the Afghan capital last summer, before returning swiftly to Westminster.
And onespanish holidaysin a villa belonging to the family of minister Lord Goldsmith, also in 2021, has drawn criticism over transparency.
Labor criticized Mr Johnson for declaring a free holiday at Villa Mustique with Ms Johnson on the list of ministers’ interests, but not on the parliamentary register.
The parliamentary register requires the publication of more details, such as the value of the stay.
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