Truss refuses to pay £12,000 bill in wake of country retreat | UK News

Truss Robes comp

A spokesman says the former PM is contesting the costs and had requested an “accurate bill” before agreeing to a deal (Image: PA/Getty).

Liz Truss is defraying the cost of items disappeared from a government residence just before she became Conservative Party leader last year.

Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister is reportedly refusing to pay more than £12,000 after a number of items, including bathrobes and slippers, went missing from the Chevening Estate last summer.

At the time, Ms Truss was still Secretary of State but is said to have felt she had a sufficient lead over Rishi Sunak to make preparations for her eventual victory.

The government has reportedly told the former prime minister that she is responsible for the costs and food and wine consumed by her and her staff on the property, which were reportedly for non-government purposes.

A spokeswoman for Ms Truss told The Mail on Sunday that she was contesting the bill.

She is understood to have asked for an “accurate bill” before agreeing to pay any fees.

A source told the newspaper: “Liz used Chevening as a mini number 10 and held meetings with her inner circle, which often turned into parties in the evenings.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MARCH 24 File photo dated 05/02/23 of former Prime Minister Liz Truss. Several BBC local radio journalists are to be recognized by the Broadcasting Press Guild for their interviews with former Prime Minister Liz Truss. Local radio journalists working across the UK, including in Leeds, Stoke and Lancashire, will be honored with the BPG Jury Prize at an awards ceremony on Friday. It follows a proposal announced by the BBC in October that local radio stations would share more content and air fewer programs specific to their areas. Issue date: Friday March 24, 2023. PA Photo. See PA Story MEDIA BPG. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Truss is understood to be planning to run for re-election as an MP and her allies say she is hoping for a full comeback after her tenure as Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister (Image: PA).

‘[The Cabinet Office] dismissed the idea that the taxpayer should foot the bill for a string of summer parties, saying she owes more than £12,000 for them.

In December last year, the Guardian reported that traces of cocaine had been found on the property after the events in question, which Ms Truss has denied as “categorically untrue”.

File photo dated 11/10/21 of the meeting of then Foreign Minister Liz Truss (second from right) with the three Baltic Foreign Ministers Edgars Rinkvis (left), Foreign Minister of Latvia, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Lithuania and Eva-Maria Liimets (right), Foreign Minister of the Republic Estonia at Chevening House in Kent. Liz Truss challenged a government bill relating to her use of the sanctuary country home to which she had access as secretary of state. Issue date: Monday October 11, 2021. PA Photo. The former Prime Minister has been ordered to pay around £12,000 for expenses incurred during her stay at the Chevening estate, the Mail on Sunday reported. The bill covers the period last summer as she was preparing for her short-lived premiership and is believed to have been reached by Ms Truss a few weeks ago. See PA story POLITICS Chevening. Photo credit should read: Hollie Adams/PA Wire

The government residence of Chevening at Sevenoaks, Kent was normally made available to the Foreign Secretary, who was Truss at the time the disputed expenses arose (Image: PA)

In response to the recent expenses handed to the former Prime Minister, Ms Truss’ spokesman added: “Liz has always paid for the expenses of her personal guests in Chevening.

“The latest bill contains a mixture of costs for her personally and costs for official government business with civil servants, including [Cabinet Secretary] Simon Chase and senior officials from other departments meeting in Chevening during transition preparations.

“The latter makes up most of the bill. It would be unreasonable for her to pay for civil servants, as it would be against the Civil Servants Act for civil servants to accept hospitality during the leadership campaign.

“So she asked for this to be billed separately.”

With just 45 days between September and October last year, Liz Truss is the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.

She has since attributed her limited tenure to “a concerted effort by international actors to challenge our growth plan” after markets reacted significantly negatively to her tax-cut economic plans.

It is understood Ms Truss plans to stand for re-election as MP for South West Norfolk and one day make a full political comeback.

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Justin Scaccy

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