Government owns £870,000 hospitality booze stash

The Government's hospitality cellar houses more than £870,000 of wines, spirits and liqueurs, according to new figures revealed by Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant.

Government owns £870,000 hospitality booze stash
Government owns £870,000 hospitality booze stash

In April 2009 it was announced the cellar contained approximately 39,500 bottles of alcohol worth an estimated £792,000.

Yet last month Bryant revealed the hoard has since grown by around 500 bottles, and has increased in value by approximately £85,000.

The cellar - located in the vaults of Lancaster House - provides alcoholic beverages for all Government Departments' official functions.

Concern has been raised at the huge cost to taxpayers at a time of economic hardship.

"Government Hospitality supports the work of the whole Government," a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The Telegraph.

"They ran 213 functions for more than a dozen Government departments in 2008-2009, including the London Summit.

"Their careful management of the Government wine cellar means they can provide wine for these high profile events at significantly below the current market rate, making substantial savings for the taxpayer.

"Expenditure is rigorously managed, and costs have come down nearly by half since 2004-2005."

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