Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:49 UK

Hague and Clegg given timeshare of official residence

William Hague and Nick Clegg
The former political rivals will enjoy a des res timeshare

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Foreign Secretary William Hague will have to share an official country residence, Downing Street has said.

The Lib Dem and the Tory, brought together in the coalition government, will each live part-time at the 3,500-acre Chevening House estate, in Kent.

Meanwhile, David Cameron retains the traditional prime minister's residence of Chequers, Buckinghamshire.

And Chancellor George Osborne will have use of Dorneywood, in the same county.

The official residences, which are not owned by the government but held in trust, are for personal use and to host visiting dignitaries.

At the weekend, Mr Cameron held talks at Chequers with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Personal space

Prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown often used the 17th-century house for dinner parties, with celebrities including DJ Chris Evans, footballer David Beckham and author JK Rowling attending.

Mr Cameron and his family will mainly visit the 1,000-acre estate at weekends.

Mr Hague and Mr Clegg are unlikely to spend much time together at Chevening House, although the 115-room main house would be more than large enough.

The two men, who sit side by side at the cabinet table, are expected to use the property on alternate weekends, with Mr Hague's duties meaning he has to travel abroad frequently.

Dorneywood, to be used by the chancellor, was built in 1920, and came to public notice recently when former Deputy Prime Minister was photographed playing croquet there with aides.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "We can confirm that the chancellor of the exchequer will use Dorneywood and both the foreign secretary and the deputy prime minister will have use of Chevening.

"Successive governments have used official residences for government business such as key meetings and hosting international leaders."

No new resident has been named for the much-desired government flat in Admiralty Arch, central London.



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