If the architecture is distinguished and the expenditure is necessary to preserve it then Lord Irvine can do as the rest of us do - live in his own home and commute to work. The official residence might then be open to the public at all times and we could all enjoy the decorations we have paid for.
Many of us doubt that the expenditure is necessary or that, as Lord Irvine claims, he was distanced from the decision to go ahead. He could have said "No" and suggested that the money be used to fund the odd hospital bed rather than paper the parlour.
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