Britain's most senior civil servant was asked yesterday to investigate whether George Osborne is misusing his lavish grace-and-favour residence by failing to declare his guest list.
The Chancellor has regular weekend parties at Dorneywood in Buckinghamshire but, unlike David Cameron at Chequers, has never disclosed who he entertains. Mr Osborne's aides claimed that, because the Prime Minister offered the house to the Chancellor for his private use, the Treasury does not need to record the hospitality. But the Labour Party said that, as Dorneywood is a grace-and-favour home, full transparency is needed.
In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Labour MP Jon Ashworth wrote: "While I recognise that expenditure at Dorneywood is borne by a trust I believe the public interest around who is entertained in private by government ministers at official residences is not purely financial but goes to the heart of public trust in politics."