UKIP's parliamentary candidate for North Warwickshire is not happy about the quality of domestic staff in modern Britain.
William Cash, UKIP's spokesperson on heritage matters, has complained that it is almost impossible to find a live-in housekeeper "capable of starching and ironing your Turnbull & Asser shirts without burning the collars" in modern Britain.
He said the struggle became real for him after he decided to hire "a new housekeeper to replace a friendly but hopelessly chaotic young east European couple" to live at his Shropshire stately home and look after his family.
In a piece for the Daily Telegraph, Cash said he recruited the original couple after his sister "found them selling the Big Issue outside a Tesco's in Chelsea" but with a second child on the way "they decided they were better off moving to Birmingham and claiming benefits".
Cash, the son of Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash, is the founder of Spear's magazine, which describes itself a publication "exclusively for members of the new global class of high net worth".
The UKIP candidate's website describes how he lives at the 15th-century Upper Cressett Hall with "his wife, Lady Laura, along with their labrador Cressetta and pug Thimble". He said he needed the live-in assistance for ironing, cleaning, and "home-cooking for dinner parties".
Cash's problems with the quality of domestic staff in the UK include the time a member of staff washed a dry-clean-only "Redwood & Feller navy wool suit" after chucking out "a rare and priceless Elizabethan window frame".
"The final straw was when I asked her to put up some Christmas decorations and she decorated the holly hanging above various paintings – including a rare portrait of Charles II by Adriaen Hanneman – with gold spray paint," he wrote. "Specialist restorative work had to be done to remove the glitter paint from the canvas."
Hiring proved to be a fraught process, with some candidates described as "better suited to Wolverhampton pantomine audition", while another female interviewee was "enchanting and no doubt would have been an efficient social secretary but the idea of her clearing up after my poorly house-trained pugs was risible".
Luckily the story had a happy ending: "We now have a wonderful West Midlands woman called Sasha and whilst Upton Cressett is nothing like Downton – we live in the kitchen for a start – we do at least have our very own Mrs Hughes."
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at email@example.com.
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