Whether it’s free tickets for Wimbledon fixtures, taxpayer-funded flights to Nova Scotia, or simply expensive drinks receptions, it’s fair to say that the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has not been afraid to enjoy the luxuries of his position.
But now it appears that the Speaker has recently developed even more expensive tastes.
Newly released documents from the Speaker’s office show that Bercow’s team has managed to spend £5,852 of taxpayer’s cash on expensive canapés at two events in the past eight months. In July last year, Bercow’s office spent over £3,000 on an ‘all inclusive canapés menu’ for an event in the Speaker’s house, and just before Christmas, they spent a further £2,552 on canapés for a different event.
The massive costs spent on finger food appears to be a departure from previous spending by Bercow. According to a previous release of the Speaker’s office’s expenses, from January to December 2017 the largest amount spent on a single reception was £2,380 – less than is now being spent on a single canapé splurge.
A spokeswoman for the Speaker’s office has commented that:
‘In July 2018, a South African charity asked Mr Speaker if he would host a reception celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. The event in December 2018 celebrated 100 years of women’s suffrage at the request of Ministers at the Government’s Equalities’ Office. Mr Speaker agreed to their request.
We didn’t hold these events in previous years so a comparison between amounts spent is not applicable.’
But if you were hoping that the Speaker might be being more financially prudent elsewhere, Mr S is afraid you’ll be disappointed. Other expenses revealed in the new documents show the Speaker claiming £235 for prosecco, £87 for a piano to be tuned and £840 on the repair and refurbishment of the ‘Speaker’s court sword’.
Mr S does wonder if Bercow would be splashing the cash so much if all this was coming out of his own pocket…