Brown Calls Time on the Embassies' Pink Gin Set
Byline: Jason Lewis
THE days of lavish entertaining in palatial embassies abroad arenumbered - as Britain prepares to sell off its prime locations around theworld.
Washington and Paris are among the prestigious embassies that face being soldby mandarins who have been ordered to trim millions from ambassadorial budgetsby Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Diplomats will instead have to rent more modest office buildings, putting anend to their 'pink gin' lifestyle.
The proposals mean the dismantling of Britain's foreign embassy estate, whichalso includes hundreds of homes for diplomats and other staff.
Savings will help pay for the Foreign Office's spiralling security costs andmassive spending on diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They will also help the FO meet Treasury warnings that traditionally'excessive' high living will no longer be tolerated. Large numbers of embassiesand ambassadors' residences have already been earmarked, Diplomats will have torent modest offices according to internal Foreign Office papers. Sir AndrewNoble, the head of the FO's Security Strategy Unit, is heading the propertyreview. …