Robinson makes pounds 4m in house sale

GEOFFREY ROBINSON, the former paymaster-general who resigned after lending Peter Mandelson the money to buy a house, has reportedly made pounds 4m profit after selling one of his own mansions. Mr Robinson spent six years renovating Marsh Court, a Grade 1 listed, 20-room house in Hampshire designed by Edwin Lutyens.

He is believed to have bought it for pounds 800,000, but neither Mr Robinson nor his wife, Marie-Elena, ever lived there. Earlier this month it was sold for nearly pounds 6m. The couple, who live in another Lutyens mansion in Surrey, had intended to use the house to entertain friends.

The Robinsons spent pounds 1m renovating the Victorian hunting lodge house, which was once used as a school and had fallen into disrepair. The house was built in 1901 for Herbert Johnson, a stockbroker, adventurer and friend of the architect.