Ministers rebuked by Johnson for ‘frippery’ amid battle over Chevening

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Boris Johnson has dismissed a dispute between two of his most senior cabinet colleagues over using Country House Chevening as a “frippery” that would not distract them from their policy priorities.

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The 17th-century Kent Manor is traditionally used as a country retreat for the Foreign Secretary, in the same way for the Prime Minister’s Checkers Stampede in Buckinghamshire.

But outgoing Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refused to hand it over to his successor, Liz Truss, arguing that his new title of deputy prime minister gives him the authority to hold onto it.

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The final decision rests with Mr Johnson, who clarified that he has not yet decided who will use the 15-bedroom property, which sits in extensive parkland near Sevenoaks.

Asked whether Raab or Truss would get a home, or whether they would be asked to share it, Mr Johnson replied: “The people’s government is not bothered by this kind of flimsy. These types of questions, we will address in due course. But as I say, we are focusing on people’s priorities.”

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Speaking to reporters during his US visit, Johnson also brushed off questions on his alleged ambition to serve 10 years as prime minister.

“Our eyes are focused on the work ahead and anyone who thinks they can predict what will happen next down the track, you know…” he said when the reported remarks were given to him.

“What this government wants to do is to fulfill the priorities of the people, fulfill the commitments of its manifesto,” he said. “We did Brexit, we’ve got the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe and we’re dealing with some big things that have been neglected for decades, not least social care and the brutality of the current system. But we’re working.”

He gave an equally brief look at suggestions that he might set the next general election for 2024, pushing forward to 2023 or 2022.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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