THE accusations against Boris Johnson do not go away, and the Prime Minister was visibly angry at Questions yesterday when the most damaging accusation – that he said “let the bodies pile high” – was put to him from anonymous sources.

He was angry because he denies saying such a thing, even in exasperation, which is good because if he had, it would have been a major lapse of judgement.

While Mr Johnson was clear about that, he did not offer a precise answer to who paid initially for the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat. This is an important question about transparency: if it were a private individual, what did they expect to get in return?

Part of Mr Johnson’s appeal was that he didn’t follow the normal conventions so voters might have expected him to get into scrapes, but this allegation is beginning to cut through – there must be several Tory candidates in next week’s elections who must wish it would go away.

And Mr Johnson could make it go away by just answering the question and explaining the process by which he came to cover all the bills for the redecoration. As he won’t, people will increasingly ask why not?