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Liz Truss and Dominic Raab to share Chevening House near Sevenoaks


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Like a father giving advice to squabbling children, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put an end to the wrangling between two of his most senior ministers by telling them they must share.

Liz Truss and Dominic Raab have been locked in a battle for access to the 115-room Chevening House mansion near Sevenoaks since Mr Johnson’s cabinet re-shuffle last month.

Liz Truss. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Liz Truss. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Dominic Raab. Picture: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament
Dominic Raab. Picture: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament

The grace-and-favour property is traditionally reserved for foreign secretaries, so Miss Truss thought she was entitled to it when she replaced Mr Raab in the role.

However, Mr Raab felt as the new Deputy Prime Minister it should be his.

He cited the precedent of the last time there was a deputy prime minister – Sir Nick Clegg – who shared it with then foreign secretary William Hague, Lord Hague of Richmond, and later his successor Lord Hammond of Runnymede.

Miss Truss added coke to the fire when she posted a Tweet or herself walking through the Chevening grounds with three visiting Baltic state foreign ministers from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Now, Mr Johnson, currently on holiday in Spain, has ruled they must share, with a government spokesman announcing: “The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will share access to Chevening as has happened in previous administrations.”

Liz Truss walks with the foreign ministers of three Baltic states through the grounds of Chevening. Picture: Hollie Adams/PA
Liz Truss walks with the foreign ministers of three Baltic states through the grounds of Chevening. Picture: Hollie Adams/PA

Under the terms of the Chevening Estate Act 1959, the Grade I-listed house, which is privately owned by a board of trustees, is occupied by someone nominated by the Prime Minister.

The palatial 17th century mansion is set in a 3,500-acre estate.

It has a lake, tennis courts, maze, woodlands and immaculately maintained gardens.

It was made available to the government by Lord Stanhope in 1967.

Miss Truss still gets exclusive use of a luxurious townhouse in Carlton Gardens, central London, that has its own ballroom.

Tweet from Liz Truss
Tweet from Liz Truss

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