Head housekeeper at PM’s Chequers residence ‘quit after clash with Carrie Johnson’
- Claims head housekeeper at Chequers left after tensions with Carrie Johnson
- Spokeswoman for the PM’s wife flatly denies there was any ‘personal dispute’
- Reports that Trust running the residence had to draft in more staff for Johnsons
The head housekeeper at the PM’s Chequers residence quit after clashing with Carrie Johnson, it was claimed today.
Charlotte Vine MBE reportedly left with a payoff in 2020 after signing a non-disclosure agreement.
According to the Times, the departure came after tensions with the premier’s wife. However, a spokeswoman for Mrs Johnson insisted that there was no dispute.
Ms Vine is said to have first worked at the 16th-century Buckinghamshire manor house in 2004.
She left to join the household at another ministerial residence, Dorneywood, before returning to the top job at Chequers.
The Times said Ms Vine faced disciplinary action over ‘inappropriate handling of a personal item’ belonging to Mr Johnson, but this was later dropped and she left with a pay-off in January 2020.
Boris and Carrie Johnson at the PM’s country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire
Chequers, bequeathed to the nation in 1917 by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham, is part-funded with a grant from the Cabinet Office
A source told the newspaper that the friction with Mrs Johnson began soon after they began using the residence.
‘Carrie took something Charlotte said completely the wrong way. It started over a catering matter. It led to Carrie refusing to go to Chequers when Charlotte was there.’
A spokeswoman for the PM’s wife told MailOnline: ‘It is untrue to suggest there was a personal dispute between Mrs Johnson and the head housekeeper.
‘Nor was there any request from Mrs Johnson for staffing changes.’
There are also claims that there has been a reduction in the number of staff introduced by David Cameron during the coalition’s austerity drive.
Four more workers are said to have been added since Mr Johnson became PM.
Chequers, bequeathed to the nation in 1917 by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham, is part-funded with a grant from the Cabinet Office.
That was around £690,000 a year under Mr Cameron, but has now risen to £916,000 under Mr Johnson.
One source acknowledged that the Johnsons ‘use Chequers more’ than recent PMs, and the costs are higher as a result.
A Government spokesman said: ‘Chequers is managed by an independent trust and this is a longstanding process, staffing arrangements are entirely a matter for them.’
Aides insisted the Trust follows ‘full and fair disciplinary processes’ and the Johnsons did not make any requests for staffing changes.
Lord and Lady Lee wanted the 16th century, 1,000-acre estate to be a ‘place of rest and recreation for Prime Ministers’ to help them cope with the pressures of government.
David Cameron enjoyed ‘chillaxing’ at Chqeuers, including using the tennis court (pictured)