Issues as Cupboard Secretary Simon Case oversees fallout from Boris Johnson’s Downing St refurbishment

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Britain’s maximum senior civil servant is individually overseeing the fallout from the refurbishment of Downing Boulevard, Whitehall resources have instructed Sky Information.

Simon Case, the cupboard secretary, faces complaint from opposition MPs and figures throughout the executive as a result of his non-public involvement finding out the monetary preparations surrounding the rebuilding of Downing Boulevard.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, his fiancée, are mentioned to have performed a lavish overhaul of the flat above 11 Downing Boulevard with a purpose to exchange Theresa Would possibly’s “John Lewis furnishings nightmare”.

Quantity 10 has now not mentioned how the redesign, recommended by means of eco inside clothier Lulu Lytle used to be funded.

Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson
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Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson are mentioned to were recommended by means of eco inside clothier Lulu Lytle

A leaked e mail this week advised £58,000 in investment for a “Downing Boulevard Consider” got here from a Conservative donor, Lord Brownlow, despite the fact that no donation has been declared to the Electoral Fee.

It’s unclear how a accept as true with might be used to fund final yr’s refurbishment. The Tories deny breaking the regulation and Downing Boulevard say no accept as true with has but been arrange.

The Electoral Fee is already keeping “discussions” with the Conservative Celebration over whether or not the paintings on Mr Johnson’s non-public flat used to be paid for by means of Tory donors and those bills will have to were declared.

The Conservative Celebration mentioned it complied with the entire regulations, however the Electoral Fee instructed Sky Information in a commentary the discussions with the birthday party over “the works at 11 Downing Boulevard” are nonetheless ongoing.

The federal government has already mentioned that information about the Downing Boulevard property could be contained within the Cupboard Place of job annual file, due out simply earlier than the summer time.

Alternatively, information of the private involvement of Mr Case within the interior correspondence concerning the refurbishment has raised considerations inside of executive, with colleagues being concerned this can be a distraction given his massive in-tray as a result of the demanding situations of the COVID pandemic, Brexit and the federal government’s “levelling up” time table.

There also are considerations that the problems across the flat may just change into extra problematic if the discussions between the Conservative Celebration and Electoral Fee aren’t resolved satisfactorily.

“I am astonished that Simon has were given concerned on this himself,” mentioned one member of the federal government conversant in Mr Case’s involvement in the problem.

“It has such a lot attainable to head unsuitable. What’s he involving himself in one thing like this for? It is so unusual.”

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, talk before having tea in the private residence at Downing Street in London in this official White House handout photo taken on May 24, 2011and released by the White House on May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Lawrence Jackson/The White House/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
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Former US first woman Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, the spouse of ex-PM David Cameron, within the Quantity 11 flat in 2011

Mr Case used to be appointed because the youngest-ever cupboard secretary final September, to interchange Sir Mark Sedwill, after returning to Downing Boulevard from the Royal Family.

Mr Case used to be with reference to Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s former leader adviser.

Labour requested why Mr Case used to be concerned with such an it appears trivial subject.

Shadow Cupboard Place of job minister Fleur Anderson mentioned: “There are already critical questions striking over the Downing Boulevard refurbishment and this raises any other that must be replied.

“It kind of feels abnormal and out of place for the top minister to have tasked any individual as senior as the cupboard secretary with a task like this in the course of an epidemic, when there have been indisputably way more urgent problems to take care of.”

Consistent with the Day-to-day Mail, Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row, a Conservative donor, paid £58,000 to the Tories to refill the birthday party’s budget for an equivalent fee it had made against the refurbishment.

He advised that he would quickly lead a brand new charity that may take rate of Downing Boulevard’s maintenance.

In an e mail, leaked to the Day-to-day Mail, from Lord Brownlow to Mike Chattey, the Conservative Celebration’s head of fundraising – which copied in Conservative co-chair Ben Elliot and Darren Mott, the birthday party’s leader government – he wrote: “Hello Mike, It used to be nice to speak to you the day before today. Additional to our dialog I’m creating a donation to the Celebration these days as we mentioned.

“It contains the £15,000 you and I’ve agreed plus £58,000 to hide the bills the Celebration has already made on behalf of the quickly to be shaped ‘Downing Boulevard Consider’ of which I’ve been made chairman, as you understand.”

No such accept as true with has been shaped and Quantity 10 has now not promised there can be one, with officers pronouncing the location can be spelled out within the Cupboard Place of job annual file.

The £15,000 donation discussed within the e mail used to be declared to the Electoral Fee, whilst the £58,000 didn’t seem.

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An Electoral Fee spokesman mentioned: “Discussions with the Conservative Celebration proceed as we paintings to determine whether or not any sums with regards to the works at 11 Downing Boulevard fall throughout the regime regulated by means of the Fee, and subsequently wish to be reported and therefore revealed. The Celebration is operating with us in this.”

A Cupboard Place of job spokesperson mentioned: “The Downing Boulevard advanced is a operating development, in addition to containing two ministerial apartments.

“As has been the case beneath successive administrations, refurbishments and upkeep are made periodically.

“Issues regarding works at the Downing Boulevard property, together with the apartments, can be coated within the Cupboard Place of job’s subsequent annual file and accounts.”

A Conservative Celebration spokesman mentioned: “All reportable donations to the Conservative Celebration are as it should be declared to the Electoral Fee, revealed by means of them and comply absolutely with the regulation.

“Items and advantages gained in a ministerial capability are, and can proceed to be, declared in executive transparency returns”.

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