Liz Truss faces questions over ‘unusual’ State Department spending

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Labor has asked the government to explain what it sees as “unusual” spending by the Foreign Office (FCDO) during Liz Truss’s time as head of the department.

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry has written to Secretary of State Gillian Keegan seeking clarification as to why thousands of pounds were spent on costs, including wellness and beauty treatments.

During the Prime Minister’s time as Foreign Secretary, the FCDO spent £1,841 in the Norwich City club shop and £4,333.30 in a “hairdresser and beauty parlour”.

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Earlier this year, Ms Truss admitted to being a Norwich City fan. “It’s a nice family club, what can I say?” she told Conservative members in Leeds.

Ms Thornberry also questioned spending of around £10,000 at Fortnum & Mason and purchases from multiple wineries, a number of curry houses and The White Company and furniture stores.

Referring to the unexplained expense, Ms Thornberry tweeted: “How did the Foreign Office manage to spend £4,333.30 on two trips to the hairdresser?”

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Her latest letter to the FCDO came after the department told her that the information she sought was “not readily available” or would incur “disproportionate costs.” Labor disputes both claims.

The Labor frontbecher argued in its most recent letter that the public expects “proper controls” when there is evidence of “unusual or excessive spending in any corner of government”.

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Ms. Thornberry also asked why the FCDO’s spending on government purchases had increased by 45 percent since September last year.

Annual spending on cards was no more than £24.01 million between 2019 and 2021. However, if current monthly averages for 2022 continue, the cost this year will exceed £35million, according to Ms Thornberry.

TNZT has approached the FCDO for comment.

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