Boris Johnson spends a week in Marbella with his family as the UK grapples with its biggest crisis since the pandemic

The congressional period of the two main political parties—Labor held their annual conference in Brighton; the conservatives, in Manchester - imposes a period of recess in the parliamentary activity of Westminster: the deputies must not return to their seats until next October 18. For this reason, members of Boris Johnson's government have justified the prime minister taking a few days off on the Costa del Sol with his wife, Carrie, and their 17-month-old son, Wilfred. The family arrived Thursday morning at Torre de Tramores, a luxury villa hidden on a 600-hectare estate in the municipality of Benahavís, north of Marbella (Málaga). They plan to spend a week there.

“In the last year and a half, [Johnson] has nearly lost her life to covid, and her mother has recently passed away. It is normal that he has decided to have a little break. It seems very reasonable to me," said Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain's trade minister. Curiously, it is Kwarteng who has had to face, almost in first person, the supply crisis that has hit the United Kingdom. Only in recent days has the fuel supply at the country's gas stations begun to stabilize, after several weeks in which thousands of desperate drivers have queued for hours to fill up their vehicles.

The UK is facing a lean Christmas season, with a lack of workers, exacerbated by restrictive immigration laws passed after Brexit, threatens to keep supermarket shelves half empty. For this reason, Johnson's flight to Marbella, previewed exclusively this Sunday by the Mail On Sunday, has aroused harsh criticism among the Labor opposition and many British political analysts. “Marbella? What a charmer! I screw the businessmen, I cut the welfare state and I go on vacation ”, ironized Alastair Campbell, who was former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair's press officer, on Twitter. "Is the lying, lazy and incompetent Johnson really going to a luxury villa in Marbella when the country is going through a cost-of-living crisis?" Labor MP Karl Turner has asked. Downing Street sources have justified the prime minister's escape because he was "exhausted" after a week in which his main task was to deliver the closing speech at the Conservative annual congress in Manchester.

Lady Di's refuge

Boris Johnson spends a week in Marbella with his family as the UK faces its biggest crisis since the pandemic

Torre de Tramores is an enclosure made up of an old farmhouse with 10 completely remodeled rooms that has an annex building for guests. The space also has a luxurious five-bedroom house about 200 meters to the east. Two swimming pools, a jacuzzi, a heliport, a tennis court, a games room and many other amenities are at the Prime Minister's disposal.

The houses of Torre de Tramores, decorated by Jaime Parladé, stand next to an old Islamic building built in the 10th century and from which the estate takes its name. In fact, the gardens maintain the streams and ditches planned by the Muslim population, according to the accommodation website. Municipal sources have explained that it is owned by Zac Goldsmith, fellow party member, friend and member of Johnson's government, where he is Secretary of State for the Environment. The property was purchased by his father, Sir James Goldsmith, a British magnate who also decided that this would be the place where he would spend the last days of his life. He died there in 1997 of cancer.

The place was also chosen by Lady Di to take refuge after her separation from Carlos from England, which is why the British series The Crown is currently filming part of its fifth season in the surroundings of Marbella. The British actor Hugh Grant also rested in this residence, located in a valuable natural environment just a step away from the limits of the recently declared Sierra de las Nieves National Park. The accommodation, which has all its dates reserved until next spring and is a stone's throw from the exclusivity of Puerto Banús, has a dozen golf courses nearby.

The facility is located just over a kilometer north of the urban area of ​​Benahavís, whose mayor, José Antonio Mena, assures that he has no official information on Johnson's stay. This town of 8,085 inhabitants traditionally leads the classification of the richest municipalities in Malaga, with a gross income of more than 30,000 euros. The key to this lies in the numerous high-end housing estates that are spread out in its natural surroundings, among which El Madroñal and, especially, La Zagaleta, considered the most luxurious in Europe, stand out. Benahavís was also the place chosen to rest for a few days by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family in 2012. One of the most exclusive hotels on the Costa del Sol, the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace, also stands in the municipality. where Michelle Obama stayed with her youngest daughter, Sasha, during their visit to the area in 2010.