Boris Johnson told to share Chevening with Liam Fox and David Davis

Written by David Singleton on 18 July 2016 in Diary
Diary

Welcome to Casa Brexit!

Over the years, one of the perks of becoming foreign secretary has been that you get exclusive use of the £15 million grace and favour residence of Chevening.

But not in the case of Boris Johnson, it seems.

Rather, Number 10 announced today that the new foreign secretary will have to share the residence with two fellow Brexiteers - David Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Liam Fox, the international trade secretary.

The news is likely to have come as a shock to Johnson as he settles into his new job. The fact that the three politicians have never been great pals makes the move all the more awkward. But with 115 rooms it is still possible that they could all be there at the same time without arguing over who gets to sleep in the top bunk.

Explaining the decision to give all three Brexiteers joint use of the property, the prime minister’s spokeswoman said it "reflects the fact that all of these secretaries of state will, as part of their work, be needing an opportunity to host foreign visitors and leaders".

 

 

It is not the first time Chevening has been shared between politicians. Under the coalition, then foreign secretaries William Hague and then Philip Hammond were made to share with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

But with no coalition and no deputy prime minister, Johnson might have expected that Theresa May would grant him sole use of the Kent mansion.

The decision not to let Johnson have the run of the house might suggest that May wants to keep Johnson on a tight leash.

It would also appear to confirm that the prime minister does not expect the foreign secretary to do all of the heavy lifting in the Brexit negotiations - and that Davis and Fox could instead end up being the key players.

 

 

Picture by: Johnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images

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