While the rest of us face a cost-of-living crisis, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is apparently planning to spend £20 million buying a luxury New York townhouse so the UK’s UN representative can have big parties.
Not only that, but the money would be paid to an art dealer who is currently facing trial for a £500 million tax fraud in France.
Should the UK’s government really be subsidising a possible fraudster’s court representation? And does the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations really need a massively expensive building, just so she can host lavish parties?
The memo on the proposed Manhattan purchase argues that ‘the Sutton Square townhouse would provide a high-quality entertainment space close to the UK mission to the UN [and] comfortable accommodation for VIPs’.
The 9,600 sq ft Manhattan townhouse, which has views over the East River, would be used mainly by Dame Barbara Janet Woodward, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Described by the property agents as ‘a grand and iconic residence for the new gilded age’, Dame Barbara… would enjoy the use of a huge kitchen, sauna-like showers, parquet de Versailles wood floors and a filigreed spiral staircase.
The documents leaked to The Mail on Sunday make the argument that despite already owning three residences in New York, in addition to the embassy and ambassador’s house in Washington, the new property is required to help the UK to pursue ‘soft power’ diplomacy through drinks and canapes.
These things are not good for the UK’s diplomats. Apparently there was a huge row when it was revealed in 2020 that Antonia Romeo, now Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, had been investigated over allegations that she had ‘terrorised’ staff who criticised her extravagant lifestyle and reportedly lavish spending when she was Britain’s Consul General in New York.
But the good news is that, as the building is in a “highly desirable” area of New York, it will likely hold or increase its value in the long term. So it’s a good investment. But how will the people of the UK benefit from this extravagant spending.
Ultimate authority over the deal will lie with airheaded Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who doesn’t seem to understand that spaffing our money – yours and mine, not hers – on things that aren’t vital for the nation is offensive to the people of the UK.
She’s also clueless about the new policy of cutting the number of civil servants in the Foreign Office by 900.
Apparently she’s happy to throw away “people whose skills we no longer need” (charming!) but then wants to take on enough new personnel to create a net increase of 1,000.
It would be okay if we knew that more than 1,000 jobs will be going to people who really need them – but you know Truss is just going to dish them out to more Tory cronies. I await proof that my assertion is false.
It seems clear that, not only is Truss a danger to the safety of the UK, with her sabre-rattling comments about Russia – but she can’t be trusted with money either.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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