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Foreign Office spends £9,000 on champagne in five years

By David Hughes

The Foreign Office has spent more than £9,000 on champagne and sparkling wine in the last five years, according to official figures.

Spending on bubbly since 2010 peaked in 2013/14 at £2,271, with £1,950 spent in 2014/15.

The figures, released in response to a Freedom of Information request, show that £1,705 was spent in 2010/11, £2,027 in 2011/12 and £1,124 in 2012/13.

In its response to the FoI request, the Foreign Office (FCO) said the figures "cover expenditure on champagne or sparkling wines made by the UK contracted caterer to the FCO, ESS Compass".

The figures do not cover the cost of sparkling wines for the Government cellar, which is financed by selling off expensive bottles in order to fund new purchases.

An FCO spokeswoman said: "The FCO hosts a number of diplomatic events and receptions each year to help boost British trade and support UK interests.

"All expenditure on hospitality is heavily scrutinised to ensure maximum value for money. The Government hospitality wine cellar has been self-funding since 2010 meaning that net-spend under this area is zero."

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