Thursday 22 February 2018

New ministers 'quaffing less wine'

MP Tom Watson has campaigned to sell off the Government wine cellar's contents to boost public finances
MP Tom Watson has campaigned to sell off the Government wine cellar's contents to boost public finances

Government ministers are drinking a third less wine than their Labour predecessors, MPs have been told.

Leader of the House Sir George Young said Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers have quaffed 30% less of the official Government wine cellar than the previous administration.

Sir George was answering a question from Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, who has campaigned to sell off the cellar's contents to boost public finances.

Introducing his question as "an old vintage", Mr Watson said "There's a Chateau Latour 1962 in there valued at £3,600.

"Can the Leader of the House tell me which minister deserves to drink it?"

Sir George replied: "I have made some inquiries and the House will be pleased to hear that consumption of wine has fallen 30% since the coalition Government took over."

Last month, Mr Watson was passed details of the Government's cellar after a Freedom of Information request.

The cellar included a Chateau Petrus 1978 worth more than £2,500, while a bottle of Chateau Palmer 1975, prices of which start at £120, was described as a "really old-fashioned style claret, rich and excellent with some austerity".

Mr Watson said previously: "As the economy heads back into recession, nobody will seriously believe we are all in this together when ministers are quaffing wines at £200 a bottle."

Press Association

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