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Hillsborough Castle: Official Residences

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost to the public purse was of food and drink provided in Hillsborough Castle as a consequence of its use as a ministerial residence in the last 12 months. (193183)

It is not possible to separately identify the cost of food and drink consumed by Ministers when residing at Hillsborough Castle from the overall departmental expenditure for hospitality.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times he has used his official ministerial residence in Hillsborough Castle since his appointment. (193184)

Accommodation in Hillsborough Castle is made available to me as a residence while in Northern Ireland. The Castle is also Her Majesty the Queen's residence in the province, is used as a conference centre, hosts charity fund raising events and is open to the public.

Official residences are assigned to Ministers by the Prime Minister either on grounds of security or in order to allow them to perform better their official duties. Rules on the use of official residences are set out in the "Ministerial Code".