THE SNP have warned Tories could be “shredding” key documents implicating Boris Johnson in a series of scandals.

The Electoral Commission has launched an investigation into the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat above 11 Downing Street amid reports it was initially funded by a Conservative party donor. It announced there are “reasonable grounds to suspect” that the law had been broken due to a failure to report donations.

Fresh reports from the Times say insiders in Number 10 are concerned about a potentially incriminating “paper trail” at Tory party headquarters.

“The worry is that there could be a paper trail,” a government source said. “There was a very limited number of people who knew about the funding arrangements at CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters). It’s not clear how this will end.”

In light of this, and Johnson reneging on a promise to publish all of his correspondence relating to coronavirus contracts, the SNP have now raised alarm bells about a possible "Tory shredding operation".

During questioning from Ian Blackford in the Commons last week, the Prime Minister had vowed to release all of his own messages as reports surfaced about him being personally lobbied by Brexiteer billionaire Sir James Dyson.

Kirsten Oswald, the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster, said: "The Tory sleaze scandal is getting worse every day. Boris Johnson now stands accused of impropriety and potential illegality, and could become the first serving Prime Minister to be interviewed under caution by the police and even prosecuted.

The National:

READ MORE: Tory minister defends Johnson remaining ‘ultimate arbitrator’ of standards probes

"It is crucial that the Prime Minister and Tory HQ retain and immediately publish all correspondence relating to the dodgy donor 'cash for curtains' flat renovation. There must be full disclosure, and officials must step in if required to stop any Tory shredding operation.

"Boris Johnson has already broken his word by failing to publish his text and email correspondence on covid contracts after the James Dyson affair – despite promising parliament he would do so immediately. It begs the question – what else is Boris Johnson hiding?”

She added: "This Tory government reeks of cronyism and it is clear they are only in it for themselves. Scotland can do so much better than this. Next week voters can show Boris Johnson's Tories that they are neither untouchable or above the rules we all have to obey."

The Electoral Commission has clarified that the Prime Minister is not the direct subject of its investigation at this stage because a failure to declare donations would be a matter for the Parliament's Committee on Standards.

The committee, which is chaired by an MP, can carry out investigations for possible rule breaches and impose sanctions. For instance, in 2018, Johnson made a "full and unreserved" apology to MPs for failing to declare more than £52,000 in income.

The Electoral Commission has the power to hand out fines of up to £20,000 and can refer serious cases to the police.

After its investigation was announced yesterday, the Tory leader told MPs he had “personally” paid for the flat renovations, but refused to say whether he received an initial loan from his party.

Johnson is also facing a third probe over concerns he broke the ministerial code from Parliament’s ministerial standards adviser. Lord Geidt was recently appointed to the role after his predecessor, Sir Alex Allan, resigned in November because Downing Street stood by Priti Patel despite an investigation finding the Home Secretary’s conduct “amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying”.

Downing Street has also announced Johnson will remain final arbitrator of any standards investigations, prompting fierce criticism from the opposition.

Government officials say the PM would be “happy” to assist the watchdog’s inquiries into who initially paid for the work and whether any donation was properly declared, as Johnson insisted he has not broken any laws or rules.

Responding to the SNP, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We believe all reportable donations have been transparently and correctly declared and published by the Electoral Commission.

“We will continue to work constructively with the Electoral Commission on this matter.

“While an investigation is ongoing we will not be commenting further.”