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Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has not been aware of Downing Street renovation financing plans for months | Political news

Boris Johnson’s senior official only became aware of the trust proposals to fund the renovation of Downing Street until months after the plans had already been formed.

the Prime MinisterThe renovation of his private apartment above number 11 is the subject of an official investigation over allegations that a Tory donor may have initially funded the work.

And it has now emerged that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case – who is also reviewing how the renovation was paid for – has spent months in the dark about a possible Downing Street renovation funding scheme.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that Mr Case, who began his role in September last year, only learned of the Downing Street trust plans “at the end of February”.

This is despite work to create a trust that began in the spring of 2020, when the government claimed it had engaged with the office of Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer on the proposals in July of last year.

The revelation will raise questions about why Mr Case – whose role allows him to advise the prime minister on government policy, as well as propriety and ethics – was not previously briefed on the plans.

The Times reported on Wednesday that Mr Case decided to find out more after reading a February 27 article that said Mr Johnson considered asking Tory donors to fund the renovation.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The cabinet secretary only learned about the trust at the end of February.”

Mr Case subsequently met Lord Powell of Bayswater and Labor Baroness Jay of Paddington on March 11.

The spokesperson said it was “to discuss the facts around the trust, their implication to date, the future of the trust and its viability.”

“They did not discuss issues relating to historic funding,” they added.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-05 11:54:00