The foreign secretary has evaded answering questions on the latest ‘sleaze’ allegations surrounding Boris Johnson to hit the Conservative Party.

James Cleverly was asked about a claim that the BBC chairman Richard Sharp helped the former prime minister arrange a guarantee on a loan of up to £800,000weeks before he was then recommended for the job by Mr Johnson.

Mr Cleverly admitted he had not tried to contact the ex-PM to seek clarity on the situation today, telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “You’re the journalist not me.”

Labor has reported Mr Johnson to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards following the report, which his spokesperson denied as “rubbish”.

Labour’s front bencher Pat McFadden said the report – which comes amid continued questions about Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs – was damaging public trust in politicians and that is “really corrosive to governance”.

He told Sophy Ridge: “If you take these different stories together, it’s very easy for the public to conclude that all politicians are the same and in it for themselves.”

Mr McFadden accused Mr Johnson of “relying on that level of cynicism so that people conclude no scandal matters because that’s what they’re all like anyway”.

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