Boris Johnson has finally put an end to the dispute between two of his most senior ministers over the use of the Chevening Villa of Grace and Favor.
Liz Truss and Dominic Raab have been embroiled in a battle for access to the 115-room Kent cottage since Mr Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle last month.
Ms. Truss tried to secure her claim to the property – which is traditionally reserved for the foreign ministers – when she replaced Mr. Raab in the position.
However, Mr Raab fought a rearguard action to keep it after he was appointed deputy prime minister as well as the subordinate position of minister of justice.
In the end, as the Times first reported, Mr Johnson decided, instead of risking pissing off one or the other of his colleagues, should they share it.
He cited the precedent of the last time there was a Deputy Prime Minister – Sir Nick Clegg – who shared it with then Secretary of State Lord Hague of Richmond and later his successor, Lord Hammond of Runnymede.
A government spokesman said: “The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will share access to Chevening as in previous governments.”
The judgment of Mr Johnson – who was on holiday in Spain – came after Mrs Truss provocatively posted a picture online of meeting the Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the listed building.
Under the terms of the Chevening Estate Act 1959, the house – privately owned by a Board of Trustees – is occupied by a person appointed by the Prime Minister.
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