Johnson shrugs off ‘fripperies and foibles’ of Chevening estate claims

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Boris Johnson has dismissed the “fripperies and foibles” of Dominic Raab and his successor as Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, both reportedly vying for access to the Chevening grace-and-favour mansion.

But the Prime Minister said issues of that nature arising out of his dramatic shake-up of his Cabinet will be addressed “in due course”.

If both insist on sole access to the 115-room holiday home, Mr Johnson would have to make the potentially thorny decision of who to grant access to over the pad in Kent.

Foreign Secretary holds talks at Chevening
Dominic Raab with South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong at Chevening House (Niklas Halle’n/PA)

But Mr Johnson sought to dismiss the issue after The Times reported that both Cabinet members have staked a claim to the country manor reserved for use by a senior minister.

“The people’s Government does not bother with fripperies and foibles of this kind,” he told reporters travelling with him to New York on the RAF Voyager.

“These types of questions, we will address in due course. But as I say, we are focused on people’s priorities.”

Mr Raab was said to believe his new role of Deputy Prime Minister, which formalised a title he effectively held and was largely interpreted as a consolation prize, means he should be able to keep it.

No 10 said there is not “one single post” that is entitled to use the Grade I-listed building, though by convention access is usually bestowed on the Foreign Secretary.

The Chevening Estate Act of 1959 states that the Prime Minister decides the “nominated person” to occupy the 17th century mansion.

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