Downing Street has approached former Labor Chancellor Lord Alistair Darling to ask for help in setting up a trust to oversee the renovation of Boris Johnson’s private apartments, Sky News can reveal.
The Labor Party today accused the government of being “misleading” about allegations it had “engaged” with the opposition over the renovation of apartment number 10 Last year.
Sky News learned that last July, the former Labor chancellor was approached by officials in Number 10 who made contact through officials in Sir Keir Starmeroffice of.
Officials wanted Lord Darling to sit on a trust that would cover all the costs of renovating the Downing Street estate.
The former chancellor was reportedly told that the arrangements would mirror those of the White House and that the trust was headed by Tory donor Lord David Brownlow.
The trust was never explicitly linked to the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s personal living space – the apartment above No.11 Downing Street – and instead, the land is said to have hinted that it s ‘was the maintenance of the entire building.
Lord Darling, who lived above Downing Street when he was Chancellor to Gordon Brown, declined the role, informing Sir Keir Starmer’s office of the decision.
He is believed to have argued that the government, rather than a trust, should maintain government buildings and that the project could attract unwanted attention from donors who might want favors from the prime minister or a peerage.
This is important because it further confirms that officials, as well as staff at the Conservative campaign headquarters, were trying to help Mr Johnson find other ways to fund the apartment’s ‘lavish’ renovation.
This revelation suggests that the civil service had been drawn into financial controversy …
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This notice was published: 2021-04-27 16:59:00