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More details have emerged of the lavish spending under Labour of the Department of Communities and Local Government's Procurement Card.

The Conservative MP Brandon Lewis has asked a question about it. There was lots of spending by civil servants that strikes me as unnecessary. For instance the £361 to London Ducktours for "a team exercise."

But kooking at the details I am more interested in some of the meals that involved Ministers.

1. A "working Ministerial lunch" at Boisdale on 3/4/08 which cost us £159.30.

2. A "working Ministerial dinner" at the Pump House in Durham on 7/7/08 which cost us £245.40.

3. A "working Ministerial lunch" at The Wolseley on 2/12/08 which cost us £99.23

4. A "working Ministerial lunch" at The Wolseley on 5/6/09 which cost us £97.37.

But we are not told which Ministers felt the need to conduct their work in such an extravagant environment leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill.

Hazel Blears was Communities Secretary until 5/6/09 the very date of the last of the lunches. How dedicated of her to still be working hard on her last day.

Was the Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan at either of the Wolseley lunches? He was a DCLG Minister from 4/10/08 to 8/6/09. Another current Shadow Cabinet Minister Caroline Flint was Housing Minister during the time of the Boisdale lunch and the Pump House dinner. Was she there?

What about Iain Wright? What about John Healey? What about Baroness Andrews? Who had a pudding? Who had a starter? What knocked back the booze during these "working" events? It is not use saying it is none of our business. We had to pay.

Imagine if I went to lunch at the River Cafe with a bunch of Tory councillors and got the Council Taxpayers of Hammersmith and Fulham to pick up the tab. What would the Labour Party make of it?

I don't wish to sound priggish. I am a great fan of eating out. Ranald Macdonald, the owner of Boisdale is one of my best friends. But it is just staggering that these senior politicians felt it was acceptable to expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

12 comments for: Which Labour Ministers dined at Boisdale and The Wolseley?

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