United Kingdom

Dominic Raab and Liz Truss both stake a claim to Chevening House

Boris Johnson is facing an immediate post-reshuffle Cabinet headache after Dominic Raab and Liz Truss both staked a claim to use Chevening House. 

The grace-and-favour estate in Kent is usually reserved for the use of the UK's foreign secretary, a role now held by Ms Truss after Mr Raab's demotion to Justice Secretary. 

However, Mr Raab was also handed a new title of Deputy Prime Minister in Mr Johnson's Cabinet shake-up. 

He is said to believe that should give him the right to use the house for official visits but Ms Truss believes the property should be hers to use, according to The Times.  

A final decision on the use of the property will ultimately be made by Mr Johnson. 

Boris Johnson is facing an immediate post-reshuffle Cabinet headache after Dominic Raab and Liz Truss both staked a claim to use Chevening House

The grace-and-favour estate in Kent is usually reserved for the use of the UK's foreign secretary, a role now held by Ms Truss after Mr Raab's demotion to Justice Secretary

Chevening House, which dates back to the 17th Century, has traditionally been allocated to the foreign secretary, often being used to host visiting counterparts.

However, it was used by Nick Clegg, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, when he was deputy prime minister in the Coalition Government. 

Mr Clegg had to share the venue with William Hague, the then foreign secretary.

The Prime Minister could opt to grant permission to just one of his Cabinet ministers or he could ask them to share the property. 

Mr Johnson has personal experience of having to share Chevening from his time as foreign secretary in Theresa May's government. 

Mr Johnson shared the building with then Brexit secretary David Davis and then international trade secretary Liam Fox. 

The palatial Chevening House is set in 3,000 acres and boasts 115 rooms as well as a tennis court, lake and a maze. 

Downing Street said no decision would be made over which minister will get access to Chevening until the reshuffle is over.

The palatial Chevening House is set in 3,000 acres and boasts 115 rooms as well as a tennis court, lake and a maze

Mr Johnson finished the shake-up of his Cabinet on Wednesday but an overhaul of the junior minister ranks remains ongoing. 

Asked about the alleged stand-off between Mr Raab and Ms Truss, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: 'You will appreciate that the reshuffle is still ongoing.

'There is a long process in place for nominating the occupants of Chevening House and we will update in due course.'

Pressed on whether both ministers had put in bids to use the residence, the official added: 'I'm not going to get into discussions. We will conclude the reshuffle and then we will get into the longstanding processes, like residences.' 

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