Celebrity eco-designer who inspired Carrie’s Downing Street revamp

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Her mission to overtake Downing Street – in each inside design and interior circle – has seen Carrie Symonds likened to Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette.  

Just like the mistress of King Louis XV and Queen of France earlier than her, the Prime Minister’s fiancée has change into recognized for her bohemian sartorial sense, love affair for opulence and energy behind the scenes.   

The younger mother-of-one is rumoured to have spent round £100,000 on a lavish makeover of the household’s No 11 flat with a objective, in keeping with Tatler, to do away with Theresa May‘s ‘John Lewis furnishings nightmare’.

It appears solely becoming, then, that the 32-year-old ought to enlist the companies of London’s designer du jour to create her aesthetic. 

Inside design guru Lulu Lytle counts Prince Charles and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger amongst purchasers at her enterprise, Soane Britain. 

The Egyptology graduate turned her hand to furnishings aged 25, after a stint working for the late nightclub impresario, Mark Birley – the founding father of Annabel’s. 

Lytle eschews trendy minimalism and Scandi stylish in favour of grandiose, eclectic designs impressed by her international travels. 

The 49-year-old lives in a £4million Hyde Park mansion together with her Goldman Sachs banker husband Charles Patrick St John Lytle and their kids Tom, Bunny, and Xan. 

However away from the pomp and glamour, she makes use of eco-friendly supplies and provides apprenticeships to pensioners and budding younger college students. 

In 2011, when one of many nation’s final rattan-furniture-making firms went into administration, Lytle swooped in and saved the ailing 99-year-old enterprise, and the roles of two males who had labored there for 39 years.   

In demand: Lulu Lytle together with her canine, Panther. Lytle is the Founder and Artistic Director of Soane Britain

Royal seal of approval: Prince of Wales with Lulu during a visit to visit to Soane Britain Workshop - Britain's last rattan workshop in Thurmaston in February last year

Royal seal of approval: Prince of Wales with Lulu throughout a go to to go to to Soane Britain Workshop – Britain’s final rattan workshop in Thurmaston in February final yr

The Lytles moved to a flat in one of London's nicest squares, close to Hyde Park, in 1999. They then bought its neighbour and knocked through to create a £4million home (pictured)

The Lytles moved to a flat in one among London’s nicest squares, near Hyde Park, in 1999. They then purchased its neighbour and knocked by way of to create a £4million residence (pictured)

The founder and director of Soane Britain 'designs and makes British-made furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics and wallpaper' (sample designs pictured)

The founder and director of Soane Britain ‘designs and makes British-made furnishings, upholstery, lighting, materials and wallpaper’ (pattern designs pictured)

Lulu and Panther relax in one of her rattan chairs. The Egyptology graduate turned her hand to furnishings aged 25 - after a stint working for the late nightclub impresario, Mark Birley

Lulu and Panther calm down in one among her rattan chairs. The Egyptology graduate turned her hand to furnishings aged 25 – after a stint working for the late nightclub impresario, Mark Birley

She counts inside architect Ben Pentreath – who masterminded the ornament of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s nation pile of Anmer Corridor, Norfolk and Kensington Palace flats – as a detailed buddy.  

Lytle launched to Ben to his now-husband Charlie and gave the very best man’s speech at their marriage ceremony.   

Born and raised in Worcestershire, the youngest of 4 sisters, Lucy Elizabeth Kottler, often known as ‘Lulu’, spent her childhood ‘within the Worcestershire countryside’ and loved household holidays fishing in Scotland or on seashores in Wales. 

A visit to Egypt on the age of 17 impressed her ‘fascination for the Historic World’ and she or he went on to learn Egyptology and Historic Historical past at College School London.  

Whereas at college, she acquired her first part-time job for the late entrepreneur and nightclub king, Mark Birley – the proprietor of Annabel’s. 

Downing Street's restyled décor is said to have been inspired by celebrated eco interior designer Lulu Lytle (pictured)

Downing Avenue’s restyled décor is claimed to have been impressed by celebrated eco inside designer Lulu Lytle (pictured)

She helped prepare flowers at his golf equipment and London residence, describing it as ‘an incredible expertise, my eyes have been opened to the opportunity of excessive glamour and sweetness’. 

She later went to work for antiques vendor and furnishings designer Christopher Howe, the place she met decorator Peter Twining, with whom she nonetheless collaborates with immediately.

She met her husband Charles Patrick St John Lytle, often known as Charlie, when he was coaching as a barrister. He’s now a senior funding banker at Goldman Sachs.

Mrs Lytle labored in antiques for 4 years, earlier than beginning Soane when she was 25, initially from the couple’s one-bedroom flat in Notting Hill, west London. 

In Could 1997 Lytle and her enterprise accomplice Christopher Hodsoll opened Soane in a basement store on the Pimlico Street.  

4 years later, Lulu moved throughout the Pimlico Street to a brand new studio, and in 2008 launched the furnishings and cloth firm that’s now Soane Britain.  

The Lytles moved to a flat in one among London’s nicest squares, near Hyde Park, in 1999.

They then purchased its neighbour and knocked by way of to create a £4million residence, which is now a shocking exhibition of Mrs Lytle’s inside design genius and sometimes showcased in shiny magazines. 

The couple share their residence with their three kids Tom, 20, Bunny, 18, and Xan, 15 – in addition to a greyhound named Panther and Hammy the hamster. 

She constructed up her Soane Britain inside design studio by scouring the nation for the very best artisan blacksmiths, cupboard makers, upholsterers and stone carvers creating furnishings, lighting and materials utilizing abilities going again to the 18th century and past.

In 2011, she purchased the final rattan-weaving workshop left in England, Angraves, and began an apprenticeship programme for employees of their 60s and 70s. 

She instructed The English Home: ‘We knew it was essential that it survived, the choice being the lack of these abilities perpetually. 

‘We purchased all of the related equipment from the directors and saved working with a number of the craftsmen. 

‘At present these similar males (all of their 60s and 70s) at the moment are coaching apprentices. It means an excellent deal to me that there’s a future for rattan in England.’ 

Furnishings maker Phil Eyres, 57, instructed Home and Backyard: ‘We thought we would by no means get one other job. We have been over the moon.’ 

In 2011, she bought the last rattan-weaving workshop left in England, Angraves, and started an apprenticeship programme for workers in their 60s and 70s. Pictured, the Prince of Wales at the workshop last year

In 2011, she purchased the final rattan-weaving workshop left in England, Angraves, and began an apprenticeship programme for employees of their 60s and 70s. Pictured, the Prince of Wales on the workshop final yr 

Lytle's designs (pictured) combine a riot of bold colours and showstopping old-fashioned glamour

Lytle’s designs (pictured) mix a riot of daring colors and showstopping old school glamour

Soane's clients include five-star hotels and restaurants, private members' clubs, boardrooms, yachts and private houses all over the world

Soane’s purchasers embrace five-star inns and eating places, personal members’ golf equipment, boardrooms, yachts and personal homes everywhere in the world

Mrs Lytle, 49, says her furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics and wallpapers all aim to 'contribute to the joyful atmosphere of any interior'

Mrs Lytle, 49, says her furnishings, upholstery, lighting, materials and wallpapers all intention to ‘contribute to the joyful environment of any inside’

Lytle is among the UK’s most influential and profitable inside designers and her items mix a riot of daring colors and showstopping old school glamour.

Suppose oiled-oak shelving, rattan furnishings, shimmering gold wallpaper and complex textiles. A marble rest room, maybe, with wrought iron finishings. 

She is very keen about sustaining conventional British craftsmanship.  

Her plan was clear and has by no means modified — to create superbly made up to date furnishings based mostly on antiques. 

She mentioned: ‘The lifetime of an object is endlessly fascinating, there is a depth to outdated issues.’ 

Prince Charles, himself keen about sustaining conventional craftsmanship, visited her Leicester workshop a yr in the past, simply earlier than lockdown, to admire its creations.

Soane’s purchasers embrace five-star inns and eating places, personal members’ golf equipment, boardrooms, yachts and personal homes everywhere in the world.

Mrs Lytle, 49, says her furnishings, upholstery, lighting, materials and wallpapers all intention to ‘contribute to the joyful environment of any inside’. 

Her residence mixes outdated and new Soane items, together with textiles collected worldwide, work, maps and artefacts. 

Searing Chinese language yellow partitions make a examine space dramatic, whereas hand-painted lapis lazuli rocks convey luxurious to the master suite’s Carrara marble ensuite rest room.

Born and raised in Worcestershire, the youngest of four sisters, Lucy Elizabeth Kottler, known as 'Lulu', developed a romantic passion for Egypt and took a degree in Egyptology

Born and raised in Worcestershire, the youngest of 4 sisters, Lucy Elizabeth Kottler, often known as ‘Lulu’, developed a romantic ardour for Egypt and took a level in Egyptology

She built up her Soane Britain interior design studio by scouring the country for the best artisan blacksmiths, cabinet makers, upholsterers and stone carvers

She constructed up her Soane Britain inside design studio by scouring the nation for the very best artisan blacksmiths, cupboard makers, upholsterers and stone carvers

Ikea it isn’t! £12k for owl lantern by designer who impressed Carrie? What a hoot! JAN MOIR takes a have a look at the work of Lulu Lytle, the designer who has impressed Carrie Symonds’ No10 makeover 

By Jan Moir for the Each day Mail 

Lulu Lytle? Does not she design yoga leggings or one thing? Past the salons and drawing rooms of modern London, few have heard of the inside designer who is claimed to be the inspiration for Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds‘s refurbishment of their Downing Street dwelling quarters.

I say Boris and Carrie. I imply Carrie, in fact, for it’s the Prime Minister’s fiancee who’s within the chintz-covered driving seat in relation to sprucing up the flat above No 11. The couple have lived there for 20 months, together with child Wilf, Dilyn the canine and — oh my goodness, I believe I’ll faint — Samantha Cameron’s glass-fronted Ikea cupboards.

Carrie has clearly determined that is merely Not Good Sufficient and has launched into a plan to convey a bit glamour and sophistication to the dowdy Downing Avenue digs.

And who higher to supply an instance of wall-to-wall luxe than Lulu Lytle and her Soane Britain firm? Whereas not precisely a family identify, they’ve established themselves as a ‘conspiracy of excellence’ since launching in 1997.

Style... at a price: Lulu Lytle’s products are very exclusive. Her own West London home is an alarming riot of patterns and pinks in a style that could be called ‘bohemian casbah’

Model… at a value: Lulu Lytle’s merchandise are very unique. Her personal West London house is an alarming riot of patterns and pinks in a mode that may very well be known as ‘bohemian casbah’

Carrie (pictured above, with Boris Johnson in March last year) has clearly decided this is simply Not Good Enough and has embarked on a plan to bring a little glamour and class to the dowdy Downing Street digs, writes Jan Moir

Carrie (pictured above, with Boris Johnson in March final yr) has clearly determined that is merely Not Good Sufficient and has launched into a plan to convey a bit glamour and sophistication to the dowdy Downing Avenue digs, writes Jan Moir

Lulu has adorned a number of the grandest homes in London and has no less than one royal shopper amongst her rich patrons. 

Her personal West London house is an alarming riot of patterns and pinks in a mode that may very well be known as ‘bohemian casbah’ or maybe even ‘squat stylish’, however many interiors for her purchasers exude traditional simplicity and delightful craftsmanship.

Soane have provided furnishings, fittings and fixtures to five-star inns, to the Soho Home group, to Annabel’s nightclub and to Anya Hindmarch retailers. 

They provided the on line casino chairs for the late David Tang’s China Membership in Singapore, they kitted out a grand resort eating room in Gstaad, Switzerland, they designed and made the scallop shell sconces that mild up Bentley’s Oyster Bar in London.

They produce their very own beautiful textiles, wallpapers and furnishings. All the pieces is the very best it may be and is produced by conventional British craftspeople together with weavers, printers, saddlers, blacksmiths, chair-makers and upholsterers. 

Miss Lytle has a specific fondness for rattan, and when Soane revived and saved the final rattan-weaving workshop within the UK, Prince Charles came over and provide his help.

Brass shell wall sconce – £1,500

Apparently many Soane customers go for the Shell brass wall sconces, to hold candles rather than lightbulbs, at £1,500 a pop

Apparently many Soane prospects go for the Shell brass wall sconces, to carry candles reasonably than lightbulbs, at £1,500 a pop

When the Camerons have been in residence, their £64,000 makeover included intensive work on a toilet. However maybe Carrie wish to bathe off the outdated and embrace the brand new?

Lytle’s type is much less energy bathe and extra freestanding bathtub. ‘A giant room can have rugs on the ground, art work on the partitions, a settee maybe,’ she as soon as mentioned.

Apparently many Soane prospects go for the Shell brass wall sconces, to carry candles reasonably than lightbulbs, at £1,500 a pop.

Bear couch – £19,600

The sofa is made by British craftsmen who build wooden frames ready to be hand-sprung, hand-stitched and webbed using feather and down cushions

The couch is made by British craftsmen who construct wood frames able to be hand-sprung, hand-stitched and webbed utilizing feather and down cushions

If Boris is hoping for bulging sofas with fats cushions, he is probably not adopting the Soane type, which is about elegant traces that permit the materials do the speaking.

However the Simplified Bear Couch is perhaps proper up his avenue, the ‘elegant take’ on a Chesterfield.

He’ll want deep pockets, although, as a result of a mannequin with beech legs would price £11,200 and that is earlier than the leather-based, which might be £8,750 for a cherry-red cowhide — so a complete of £19,950.

The couch is made by British craftsmen who construct wood frames able to be hand-sprung, hand-stitched and webbed utilizing feather and down cushions. 

One piece of the furnishings would possibly contain 5 completely different trades throughout the nation, and take eight to 12 weeks to finish.

None of this comes low cost. At Soane, corners aren’t reduce, they’re bevelled, upholstered, polished and stitched by professional hand. 

Soane is so posh and excessive finish that there aren’t any costs on its web site, though there are terrifying studies of £20,000 sofas and wallpaper that prices £700 a metre.

No matter Carrie has chosen for the refurbishment, Boris is claimed to be appalled on the payments, reportedly complaining that the fee is ‘uncontrolled’ and maybe was even ‘over 100 grand’. Can that probably be true?

It’s actually no secret that many males freak should you attempt to purchase a cushion that prices greater than sixpence, and query the knowledge of shopping for one other scented candle once you’ve already ‘acquired one within the corridor’.

Owl lantern – £11,600

They ‘give off a sublime glow’, says Lulu, who has two Aten lights and an Owl lantern in her kitchen dining room

They ‘give off a chic glow’, says Lulu, who has two Aten lights and an Owl lantern in her kitchen eating room

Maybe Boris and Carrie will get pleasure from romantic dinners underneath the delicate glow of Soane’s Owl lantern — layers of brass ‘feathers’ reduce and welded by Sheffield silversmiths.

On the partitions they might go for a shell wall mild, manufactured on the Sussex coast, utilizing conventional metal-pressing strategies. 

The fittings can be utilized with actual candles or with bulbs, identical to Soane’s Aten fittings, so named as a result of the concave, hand-beaten again plates allude to a solar disc — Aten in historic Egyptian. 

They ‘give off a chic glow’, says Lulu, who has two Aten lights and an Owl lantern in her kitchen eating room.

Dianthus wallpaper – £840 (per roll)

‘I’m a great proponent of covering all surfaces of a room', Lytle says

‘I am an excellent proponent of masking all surfaces of a room’, Lytle says

Soane’s social media feed is a showboard for matchy-matchy type. Like that print, Carrie? Why not have it on the partitions, the couch and the curtains?

‘Go all out,’ is Lytle’s perspective. ‘I am an excellent proponent of masking all surfaces of a room — partitions, ceilings and fabric — in matching wallpaper and cloth to really feel enveloped in probably the most cosseting means,’ she says.

She’s additionally a devotee of chintz. ‘The wealthy, saturated colors are beautiful, however will be overwhelming, which is why I’ve re-coloured a few of my favorite patterns to be a bit extra muted.’

Boris can be relieved. Until he takes a elaborate to Dianthus Chintz, a botanical print Lytle has in her personal bed room — one roll of wallpaper is £840.

Door deal with – £260

The Hand and Bamboo range start from £190 for a cupboard handle and £260 for a door

The Hand and Bamboo vary begin from £190 for a cabinet deal with and £260 for a door

The Hand and Bamboo vary of door and cabinet handles are solid in brass and are available in three finishes: darkish bronze, polished nickel and antiqued brass, and begin from £190 for a cabinet deal with and £260 for a door.

After seeing these eye-watering costs, Boris will in all probability want a drink from Soane’s Forties-style cocktail trolley (a snip at £4,900).

 

But the Prime Minister is claimed to have whimpered that his fiancee appeared to have ordered ‘gold wall coverings’, which does certainly sound worrying. Nonetheless, what I need to know is: might it’s Lulu’s Pineapple Frond or her Scrolling Fern?

One wonders why on earth the couple are bothering, contemplating that they’re primarily dwelling in a rented flat and sooner or later within the not-too distant future they must transfer out. ‘It’s merely outrageous,’ says inside designer Nicky Haslam. 

‘It appears very odd to spend all that cash on altering it when the subsequent one who strikes in goes to vary all of it again once more.’

Boris is claimed to be struggling to fund the makeover and needs to boost money by attempting to arrange a charity that will cowl the refurbishment. 

Venus chair – £5,900

In 2011, Soane bought Britain’s last rattan-weaving workshop, Dryad in Leicestershire

In 2011, Soane purchased Britain’s final rattan-weaving workshop, Dryad in Leicestershire

If they have their finger on the heartbeat, Boris and Carrie can be indulging in Lytle’s ardour for all issues rattan.

In 2011, Soane purchased Britain’s final rattan-weaving workshop, Dryad in Leicestershire. In days passed by, its employees made chairs for the Titanic — hopefully no omen for Boris.

Rattan lighting, rattan mirrors, there’s a lot to select from; image Carrie reclining within the shell-shaped Venus seat (named after the Botticelli portray) — ‘simply’ £5,900.

Stag desk – £11,600

The Stag table is an iron work of art, forged by a blacksmith on the Welsh borders

The Stag desk is an iron murals, cast by a blacksmith on the Welsh borders

Ought to a number of alternative gadgets of furnishings be required, Soane has loads of choices which all feed into the made-in-Britain mannequin.

The Stag desk (from £11,000) is an iron murals, cast by a blacksmith on the Welsh borders, with 50lb sections of metallic lovingly moulded into the form of deer’s legs.

‘It is significantly powerful work — he is needed to see the osteopath each time he is made a desk — however it’s extraordinary to observe him do it, and you’re feeling his soul in each piece,’ declares Lytle proudly.

Contemplating his costly divorce and Carrie’s lack of seen means, one wonders if they’re dwelling the form of five-star life they merely couldn’t afford if left to their very own gadgets.

On the finish of the day we’re speaking concerning the flat above the store. We count on our prime ministers and their households to reside in affordable consolation, however does it must be fairly so fabulous or grand?

The Camerons acquired by with out hand-painted wallpaper or leather-based sofas, Theresa Could made do with what was there and, within the Nineteen Eighties, Margaret Thatcher paid for the refurbishment of the Downing Avenue flat herself.

I really like a properly padded chair as a lot as the subsequent lady, however ought to Carrie begin to reduce her golden wallpaper in keeping with her finances?

Image analysis: Claire Cisotti

Boris Johnson’s secret fund for Carrie Symonds’ No.10 makeover: Prime Minister plans new charity backed by wealthy donors to assist pay for lavish revamp of personal Downing Avenue flat 

By SIMON WALTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Boris Johnson is secretly attempting to arrange a charity to assist pay for a expensive makeover of his official flat by his fiancée, it was claimed final night time.

The scheme is predicated on one utilized by the White Home to boost thousands and thousands of {dollars} for inside design, antiques and artwork.

The presidential charity is bankrolled by personal donors – and the proposed Downing Avenue model is anticipated to be funded largely by rich Tory benefactors.

It runs the chance of claims of battle of curiosity whether it is seen as a back-door means of offering a monetary profit to the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson has complained the price of the refurbishment by Carrie Symonds was ‘completely uncontrolled’, the Each day Mail has been instructed. He reportedly mentioned throughout one assembly that the sum amounted to ‘tens and tens of 1000’s’. On one other event he mentioned it was ‘over 100 grand’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his fiancée Carrie Symonds in Whitehall in November last year

Prime Minister Boris Johnson along with his fiancée Carrie Symonds in Whitehall in November final yr

He’s mentioned to have instructed one minister he was notably alarmed by the price of wallpaper chosen by Miss Symonds, saying she appeared to have ordered ‘gold wall coverings’.

Mr Johnson has requested multi-millionaire financier and Tory peer Lord Brownlow, who has shut hyperlinks with the Royal Household, to run the charity. It’s believed that an software to register it with the Charity Fee is underneath means.

The White Home fund envied by Boris Johnson 

If the brand new Downing Avenue charity follows the lead set by America, then Carrie Symonds might play a serious position.

Incoming presidents and their households are allowed to spend $100,000 (£72,000) on redecorating the White Home.

By custom, the First Woman takes an energetic half within the White Home Endowment Belief which maintains the material of the constructing.

Funded by personal donors, it has reported belongings of round $50million (£36million).

Rosalynn Carter, spouse of Jimmy Carter, is credited with a serious shake-up of the White Home Endowment Belief in 1978, together with elevating massive sums of money.

George Bush’s partner Barbara handed oversight of the belief to the White Home Historic Affiliation.

And Hillary Clinton, spouse of Invoice, elevated the belief’s wealth to greater than $35million (£25million).

A White Home Furnishings Committee established by John F Kennedy’s spouse Jacqueline was changed in 1964 by the Committee for the Preservation of the White Home, which incorporates prime inside designers who advise on makeovers of the Oval Workplace examine.

The official function of the charity is to boost funds to protect No 10 and No 11 Downing Avenue for the nation on heritage grounds. However insiders say the proposal stemmed from the hovering price of a makeover of the No 11 flat, which is most popular by prime ministers with households as a result of it’s greater than the No 10 flat.

The restyled décor is claimed to have been impressed by celebrated eco inside designer Lulu Lytle. She is the founder and director of Soane Britain which ‘designs and makes British-made furnishings, upholstery, lighting, materials and wallpaper’ based mostly on ‘conventional crafts together with blacksmiths’.

Prince Charles visited her rattan workshop final yr simply earlier than the pandemic. Miss Lytle’s materials begin at £100 a metre.

Work on refurbishing the No 11 flat is believed to have been accomplished in current months. It went on for greater than a yr and was disrupted by Covid.

Mr Johnson first expressed concern on the rising price early final yr. He’s mentioned to have commented there was ‘no means’ he might pay for it after being knowledgeable by the Cupboard Workplace that the utmost taxpayer contribution was ’round £30,000′.

That left a large shortfall. Regardless of his wage of £150,000 a yr as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson has taken an enormous pay reduce as a result of he earned £500,000 as a newspaper columnist and writer earlier than coming into No 10.

As well as he has had an costly divorce from his ex-wife, Marina Wheeler.

This newspaper understands that there have been a number of conferences in No 10 the place Mr Johnson mentioned the opportunity of asking Conservative donors to bridge the hole, both immediately or through Tory Celebration HQ. After being warned that may very well be unethical, his advisers got here up with an alternate scheme.

They mentioned probably the most sensible and moral approach to safe further monetary assist to pay for the refurbishment was by establishing a brand new charitable fund.

Its function can be to take care of not simply the No 11 flat, but additionally different components of Downing Avenue, together with the state rooms.

That means, it may very well be introduced as having a wider heritage function that will profit future prime ministers, not simply Mr Johnson, he was suggested. He’s mentioned to have agreed to the proposal.

Nonetheless, in keeping with some sources, in actuality the true function was to bail out Mr Johnson and pay for Miss Symonds’ costly tastes.

It’s believed that the brand new charity can be designed to permit cash for use to pay for the refurbishment. It’s modelled on an analogous scheme used to take care of the White Home, the place the US president’s spouse typically performs an enormous position in inside design.

Incoming presidents and their households are allowed to spend as much as $100,000 (£72,000) on restyling the Washington mansion.

When David and Samantha Cameron occupied the No 11 flat, they paid the majority of a £64,000 redesign by Mrs Cameron, together with a brand new kitchen.

An ally of Mr Johnson final night time defended the charity plan, saying: ‘Downing Avenue is as iconic as Windsor Fortress however is at risk of changing into tatty as a result of the Civil Service does all the things on a budget.

‘A brand new charity with privately raised cash to protect it in nice form all the time is nice worth for the taxpayer and an excellent concept.’

Associates of Miss Symonds deny she has been extravagant.

‘The makeover is acceptable for a constructing of such big significance,’ mentioned one. ‘Carrie has beautiful style. It’s traditional, beautiful, trendy and stylish. She needs to be congratulated not criticised.’

The Prime Minister’s official nation residence, Chequers in Buckinghamshire, is maintained by a belief with funds from Lord Lee, who gave the home to the nation a century in the past.

A No 10 spokesman mentioned: ‘The Downing Avenue complicated is a working constructing, in addition to containing two ministerial residences.

‘As has been the case underneath successive administrations, refurbishments and upkeep are made periodically.

‘Issues regarding works on the Downing Avenue property, together with the residences, are coated within the Cupboard Workplace annual report and accounts.’

The spokesman declined to reply additional questions from the Mail, together with whether or not Mr Johnson had voiced worries about the price of the refurbishment and whether or not he mentioned asking Tory donors to assist pay for it or requested Lord Brownlow to take cost of the proposed charity. The Charity Fee mentioned it was not conscious of any software to arrange a Downing Avenue charity.

Conservative Celebration HQ, the Cupboard Workplace, Lord Brownlow and Miss Lytle declined to remark.

In keeping with one insider the thought of making a blind belief, an association whereby a public determine’s investments are dealt with by others whose identification will not be disclosed to her or him to keep away from a battle of curiosity, was additionally mentioned as a funding choice.

That is mentioned to have been dominated out on the grounds that the identification of the Tory donors would nearly actually be recognized to the Prime Minister.

Miss Symonds is concerned in one other charity controversy.

She lately introduced she was becoming a member of the workers of the Aspinall Basis, whose monetary governance is now being probed by the Charity Fee.

Based by the late John Aspinall, a buddy of Lord Lucan, the muse helps gorillas within the Congo and runs different conservation tasks.

The fee has launched a probe into issues about ‘monetary administration and wider governance’.

The non-profit basis permits its founder’s son, playing tycoon Damian Aspinall, to reside in a 30-room manor for a fraction of regular market charges.

He’s charged simply £2,500 a month for Howletts mansion, a Grade II-listed Palladian pile it owns in rural Kent.

The charity can be shelling out massive sums of cash to Mr Aspinall’s spouse Victoria.

Miss Symonds has steered the Charity Fee’s inquiry is all completely regular. She mentioned: ‘The fee made a variety of ongoing routine inquiries on the finish of final yr as a part of its common checks.’

Nonetheless, fee sources instructed the Each day Mail: ‘A routine verify of their accounts in November raised a variety of pink flags, and these issues at the moment are being checked out.’



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