Liz Truss in Chevening – a 115-room house set in 3,500 acres near Sevenoaks in Kent at the disposal of the British Foreign Secretary.
The former prime minister and former British foreign secretary Liz Truss spent public money on her entertainment, and her guests also appropriated government items from a country residence.
Liz Truss was at the centre of an extraordinary row after the Government demanded she pay more than £12,000 following the disappearance of items including bathrobes and slippers from her grace-and-favour country home, informs ‘The Daily Mail’.
The former Prime Minister was sent the bill by the Cabinet Office to cover the period last summer when she was using the Chevening estate to prepare for her short-lived administration.
A source said officials have told Ms Truss she needs to pay for items which went missing during her tenure at the home – and for food and wine she and her aides consumed there – as the costs were incurred for party political reasons rather than on state business.
Liz Truss refuses to pay. A spokesman for Ms Truss told The Mail she was contesting the bill and had requested ‘an accurate invoice’ before she agreed to settle it.
Ms Truss was still Foreign Secretary when she gathered with close aides at the 17th Century house in August, but felt that she was far enough ahead of Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership contest to start planning for victory.
Chevening, a 115-room house set in 3,500 acres near Sevenoaks in Kent, was left to the nation in 1967 by the 7th Earl Stanhope and since 1981 has usually been placed at the disposal of the Foreign Secretary.
After winning the Tory leadership race in September, Ms Truss lasted just 45 days in office after the tax-cutting mini-Budget presented by her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, sent the markets into freefall.
A source said: ‘Liz used Chevening as a mini No 10, holding meetings with her inner circle which often turned into parties in the evening.
‘The Cabinet Office was told by staff at the house that items such as towelling robes and even slippers vanished during that period, and have asked her to cover the cost.
‘They have also objected to the idea that the taxpayer should foot the bill for what were basically a series of summer parties, and say she owes more than £12,000 for it.’
The Cabinet Office bill also includes food and wine she and her aides consumed.
The Ministerial Code states that if a Minister hosts party or political events in grace-and-favour residences, then it should be at their own or their party’s expense.
In December, The Guardian reported that traces of a ‘suspected Class-A drug were found at Chevening after the parties’ – which Ms Truss has said is ‘categorically untrue’.
The newspaper said members of staff ‘twice found traces of white powder in a games room, after nights where Ms Truss was known to have entertained guests.’ The workers claimed they tested the powder with a swab which changes colour when it comes into contact with cocaine, and got a positive result.
Since leaving Downing Street in October as the shortest-serving Prime Minister in history, Ms Truss has given speeches – charging up to £65,000 a time – and written articles pushing her tax-cutting agenda.
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