“It’s incredibly difficult to be out of control of the narrative”

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A commission to redecorate what Carrie Johnson would have called the “John Lewis nightmare” left by the Mays must therefore seem like an interesting prospect. That is, until the Election Commission launched an investigation in April into how the renovations – which stood at £ 88,000, leaving the Prime Minister responsible for £ 58,000 once his allocation of £ 30,000 decoration sold out – had been paid, with reports he told assistants the cost of the redecoration was ‘totally out of control’.

This month, the Conservative Party was fined £ 17,800 for ‘serious failure to report donations’ in funding the redecoration, dubbed the ‘wallpaper door’.

Does she regret having said yes to the project, I wonder? “There’s no point in having regrets,” says Lulu. “You have made a decision and you just have to hope that the good side will come out. It was, she concedes, “incredibly difficult” to be so out of the narrative’s control.

‘Really maddening. I mean the majority was misinformation but in the swing of things you just have to face it. You cannot live. I had a business to run, people to continue working with, and clients to keep. So actually, I think it would have been indulgent of me if I had become too concerned about it, even though it was horrible.

There were times, however, when the level of scrutiny was difficult to manage. “It was very strange and, interestingly, there were times, sure, when it seemed… yes, it seemed very unnecessarily personal. We weren’t really relevant.

She has, she says, “learned a lot” and is grateful to people who have seen through the headlines. “I received wonderful letters from strangers and journalists – amazing people who wrote and it was all incredibly touching. You will never forget these people.


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