The Foreign Office, nether Liz Truss’s leadership, is facing questions astir its spending connected recognition cards including £1,841 astatine Norwich City shot nine online, and £10,000 astatine Fortnum and Mason.
Emily Thornberry, the shadiness lawyer general, wrote to the Foreign Office questioning wherefore spending was up by 45% connected its authorities procurement cards betwixt September 2021 to July 2022.
She asked Gillian Keegan, a elder minister, to springiness much details astir the spending connected a scope of items, including luxury restaurants and premium location decor brands specified arsenic White Company, Ercol furnishings and Osborne and Little, a supplier of cloth and wallpaper.
The Foreign Office declined to supply explanations to Thornberry saying it would outgo excessively overmuch money, truthful the shadiness lawyer wide went nationalist with a missive to Keegan. Data connected the FCDO’s spending shows thousands spent connected high-end restaurants, specified arsenic the Cinnamon Club, the Corinthia hotel, Stanley’s successful Chelsea and the Kennington Tandoori, a celebrated haunt of politicians.
Thornberry besides queried much than £900 to Calm Over Chaos, which appears to proviso big colouring books, and £1,850 to Soul Sanctuary, which whitethorn beryllium a wellness app. There were 2 payments of much than £4,000 successful full to a barber institution called Finishing Touches, though it is understood this relates to wide attraction alternatively than beauty.
Thornberry told Keegan it was hard to recognize the amounts spent connected “high-end backstage catering; wellness and quality treatments; extended supplies from UK wineries; ample amounts of location furnishing; and adjacent £1,841 astatine the Norwich City nine shop”.
Norwich City shot nine is simply a squad supported by Truss. In 2018, arsenic main caput to the Treasury, she gave a shot garment from Norwich City to a US authoritative successful Cleveland, Ohio successful an effort to promote an American shot nine to relocate to the UK.
Thornberrysaid: “We are waiting to spot what effect we get but the wide representation is that the FCDO that she was successful complaint of was retired of control, and spending wealth similar there’s nary time and it’s nationalist wealth with nary accountability. It is wholly shocking and ridiculous. There is simply a outgo of surviving situation – wherefore should we beryllium paying for immoderate of this high-end catering, vino and location furnishings and decorations?
“We are expecting section schools to fundraise for £40 for this and that, and the wealth isn’t available. And yet they are spending each this money?”
An FCDO spokesperson did not remark connected the items connected the list, but said: “We are committed to utilizing nationalist wealth responsibly. Our unit travel acceptable guidelines to guarantee purchases are due and execute worth for wealth for the taxpayer.”