The UK Government has
spent £12m on buying a penthouse apartment in New York
which is to become the official residence of Antony Phillipson, the UK trade commissioner for North America and
consul general in New York.
The penthouse in the 50
United Nations Plaza building takes up the whole of the 38th floor –
around 6,000s q. ft. – and has separate living and dining areas with panoramic
views, seven bedrooms and six bathrooms including staff accommodation.
A spokesman for the
Foreign Office told the Guardian newspaper, which broke the story: “We have
secured the best possible deal and value for money on a property that will help
promote the UK
in the commercial capital of our largest export market and trading partner.
“As well as being the
consul general’s residence, it will also be used to support his work to help
British businesses as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North
America. We are in the process of selling the consul general’s
The newspaper suggests that, being so close to the United Nations headquarters, the penthouse has been purchased to help Phillipson to court foreign dignitaries and secure trade deals in a post-Brexit world. Buying an expensive luxury flat seems an odd way of going about that but, who knows, in diplomatic circles maybe the size of your trade deal is judged by the size of your house.
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