Former Tory Prime Minister Liz Truss disputes a bill she has been billed for her stay at Chevening House, a country estate in Kent that she used when she was Foreign Secretary.
The building itself, a country house with 115 rooms, is a Grade 1 protected building, meaning it is of the highest national and historical importance. This category also includes, for example, Buckingham Palace.
The estate and the adjacent park were bequeathed to the nation by the seventh Earl Stanhope upon his death in 1967. Since then, it has served as one of the government residences; who uses it is decided by the Prime Minister, who most often grants it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In the summer of 2022, this post was held by Liz Truss.
The former prime minister received a bill of almost £12,000 (more than $15,000) for servicing her personal guests and political events at the estate last year.
We are talking about August 2022, when Truss ran for the post of leader of the Conservative Party after her resignation. Boris Johnson. At that time, she still formally remained the Minister of Foreign Affairs and used Chevening House for official meetings.
The campaign was successful for Truss, with Conservative parliamentarians and rank-and-file members of the party electing her as the next prime minister. However, this election did not bring much joy to her: her government lasted only 45 days, breaking a historical record.
The tabloid was the first to know about the bill from Chevening House. newspaper Mail on Sunday, who reported that the former prime minister was asked to pay for some missing items in the entourage, including bathrobes that disappeared from the bathrooms. Truss had already said she was willing to pay for the bathrobes.
At the same time, the former prime minister insists that most of the expenses relate to the use of the residence for state purposes, therefore, she should not cover them.
People close to her stressed that Liz Truss is ready to pay all personal expenses.
The BBC has reached out to the government for comment and is awaiting a response.
The ministers’ code of conduct states that if they “hold personal or party events in official residences, this must be paid for from personal or party funds, without any cost to the state budget.”
“Liz has always paid for the expenses of her personal guests in Chevening. This account contains her personal expenses and expenses for official government affairs, including, for example, meetings with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and high-ranking officials from other departments. They make up the majority of the bill,” – said a spokesman for the politician.
At this time, Liz Truss discussed with officials the necessary changes to transfer powers to her cabinet. If she had paid for these meetings out of her own pocket, it would have been against protocol, as civil servants are not allowed to receive hospitality from any political candidate, or so her office claims. Therefore, they say, she asked that this part of the costs be paid separately.
Having lost his premiership, Truss remains a member of the House of Commons. She spends part of her time giving speeches about her economic philosophy, which largely predetermined the fragility of her premiership. For one of these performances, as shown by the official register of income of parliamentarians, she received 65 thousand pounds.
She said she no longer plans to run for prime minister, but intends to stand as a candidate in the next general election in the South West Norfolk constituency, which she has represented since 2010.
Novye Izvestia, 05/01/2023, “Liz Truss refuses to pay for missing bathrobes and slippers from a country residence”: In December, The Guardian reported that after parties in Chevening, traces of a Class A drug were found. Truss vehemently denied these allegations and demanded proof. Meanwhile, police officers twice found traces of white powder in the country mansion’s playroom. Experts said they tested the powder with a swab, which changes color when it comes in contact with cocaine, and got a positive result.
Liz Truss said that her 45-day tenure as head of government “was the result of an international conspiracy.” — Inset K.ru