Leighton-Linslade Town Council has been stunned after receiving an ultimatum from solictors representing US President Barack Obama.
Sources at the White House, in Hockliffe Street, told the LBO just before our deadline that a legal team from ‘the other White House’ in Washington DC contacted them before the weekend to warn that an official letter has been sent out over naming rights.
The correspondence, which is due to arrive through the council’s Hockliffe Street letterbox today (Tuesday, April 1), says Leighton-Linslade should have sought permission many years ago before also naming its building The White House.
Our source also revealed that the council will be given the option of either changing the name, or bowing to several demands from the Americans.
These include placing the The Star-Spangled Banner ABOVE the green Leighton-Linslade Town Council flag on the flagpole outside the building. And with the American Embassy being renovated in the coming months, the council has also been asked to allow Embassy staff to use Leighton as a temporary satellite office while the disruption takes place.
Leighton’s White House was originally a private house and was built in the second half of the 19th century. From 1914 until its current use for local government, the house was occupied by George Garside, the owner of one of the two main sand companies in the town.
The US building has been the residence of every US president since John Adams in 1800 and was designed by Irish-born James Hoban and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia Creek sandstone in the Neoclassical style.
US White House spokeman April Phoule said: “Clearly we had the name first. We hope the council will rectify the situation quickly and to our satisfaction.”
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