Brown threatens to sell off our embassies
Sunday 24 May 1998
The drive for savings stems from Chancellor Gordon Brown's Comprehensive Spending Review, due to conclude next month. Most Whitehall departments have submitted "excessive" public spending programmes which are now being cut back.
Alistair Darling, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has ordered high- spending ministers to economise and raise money by selling property listed in the government's National Asset Register - the new Domesday Book. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has come in for criticism because it submitted only an outline of its immense assets and has shown no enthusiasm for selling any of them.
The FCO owns more than 1,440 properties, all but four of them abroad. Treasury ministers who visited the British embassies in Paris and Rome in Labour's first year are said to be astonished at the "opulence" of the buildings. It is being suggested that some embassies could be moved from prime sites to centrally-located but smaller premises, releasing lucrative land and buildings for sale. FCO mandarins will hotly oppose such moves, arguing that Britain's image abroad is better served by prestige offices.
The Ministry of Defence has also been told to accelerate plans to dispose of land and buildings.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...