James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Truss hits back at claims 'white powder suspected to be cocaine' found in her grace-and-favour mansion
16 December 2022, 18:12
Liz Truss has denied "categorically untrue" allegations that possible traces of cocaine were found at a state mansion she was given use of.
Listen to this article
She hit out after reports emerged of the discovery of white powder at Chevening in the days before she became Prime Minister after winning the Tory leadership contest in December.
The Guardian said a member of staff tested the powder with a swab that detected traces of cocaine at the manor, which is usually given to the foreign secretary to use.
White powder was also found twice in the games room, it was claimed.
The discovery of the substances happened after nights where Ms Truss was said to have hosted events for guests at the Kent mansion.
But a spokesperson for Ms Truss said: "This is categorically untrue.
"If there were evidence that this alleged activity had occurred during her use of Chevening, Ms Truss would have expected to have been informed and for the relevant authorities to have properly investigated the matter.
"As it is, the Guardian have produced no evidence to support these spurious claims."
It has also been claimed that similar substances were found at Downing Street, after two lockdown parties, when they were discovered on a table with a Boots Advantage card and in the bathrooms, and small plastic bags were found with tissues splattered in blood and vomit.
One of the parties was held on April 17, the eve of Prince Philip's funeral.
There is no suggestion Ms Truss or Boris Johnson were involved or aware of the drug taking.
"Boris Johnson is surprised by these allegations since he has not previously been made aware of any suggestions of drug use in 10 Downing Street and as far as he is aware no such claims were made to Sue Gray or to any other investigators," a spokesperson for Mr Johnson said.
"It was a feature of Mr Johnson’s premiership that he strongly campaigned against drug use, especially middle-class drug use.
"His government made huge investments in tougher policing to help roll up county lines drugs gangs, which cause so much misery.
"He repeatedly called for harsher punishments for the use and distribution of class A drugs."
A No10 spokesperson said: :"The Guardian has provided no evidence to support these claims. If there were substantive claims, we would expect these to be reported to the police.
"There was an independent investigation into the nature of the gatherings under a previous administration – and its findings were published.
"That information was also handed to the Metropolitan Police Service who conducted their own investigation at the time."