Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended the decision to restore Wentworth Woodhouse using public funds saying it was simply a matter of ‘common sense’.
Despite being England’s largest stately home, Wentworth Woodhouse was awarded £7.6m of tax-payers money towards the restoration costs of the privately owned 18th century mansion. But Rees-Mogg insists that spending £7.6m of government funding on a privately owned house belonging to his mother-in-law made more sense than him dipping into his £150m personal fortune.
‘Yes, the £7.6m could have been used on incidentals like fire-proof cladding for tower blocks….and yes, the £7.6m could have been used to re-house homeless people….it could even have been used to feed people…but where is the sense in that?’ he said.
‘However the public should have no fear…the £7.6m was well spent……the cornice in the drawing room was completely re-gilded, the atrium had a complete makeover, the vestibule was fitted with velvet curtains… and we even had Nicky Haslam in to oversee the whole project.’
‘It’s not easy when your budget is a miserly £7.6m but we made ends meet. We had to spend £500,000 of the budget on PRIVATE KEEP OUT notices to stop people wandering up the drive to see what their money was being spent on.’
‘Now get off my land or I will set the dogs on you. Do not ignore what I am saying. This is private property’.