According to Freedom of Information papers, the most expensive digs are in Swansea, at £2,727 per night on average. The huge bills come despite Government promises to cut the budget for judge’s lodgings
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Taxpayers shelled out £2,700 a night to put up a judge in special lodgings near a courthouse.
It is one of 29 swanky pads traditionally used by High Court judges when they travel to hear the most serious cases, such as murder.
They include mansions, penthouse flats and listed buildings with extensive grounds, staffed by housekeepers and chefs.
The lodgings, empty for at least half of the year, cost £8.7million in the last four years.
According to Freedom of Information papers, the most expensive digs are in Swansea, at £2,727 per night on average. The huge bills come despite Government promises to cut the budget for judge’s lodgings.
By contrast, the Tories slashed £350m from the legal aid budget in 2013 – forcing thousands unable to afford a lawyer to represent themselves.
Liverpool solicitor Chris Topping said: “I’m not suggesting we put up judges in Travelodges but it is hard not to argue better value could be found elsewhere.”
Barrister Anthony Barraclough defended the lodgings as “well-spent money” for security and privacy reasons.
Justice chiefs said the high cost of the Swansea lodging was driven up by a one-off £56,000 repair bill.
The Ministry of Justice said: “These lodgings are well used by judges when working in courts across the country. We always seek best value.”