1. ITV Report

House of Commons 'spent £1.4m on alcohol in two years'

Some 8,502 bottles of champagne were ordered in two years. Credit: Empics

The House of Commons spent more than £1.4 million on alcohol to sell in Palace of Westminster bars in 2012 and 2013, according to the Times.

The bill is equivalent to spending of £1,100 per MP every year.

A Freedom of Information request by the newspaper revealed that parliamentary authorities bought nearly 50,000 bottles of House of Commons sauvignon, more than 26,000 of house merlot and more than 33,000 pints of guest ale.

More than 8,500 bottles of champagne were purchased alongside over 2,100 bottles of Speaker John Bercow's whiskey.

According to the newspaper, spending in Commons bars has gradually increased over the past three years, from just over £222,000 in April 2011 to more than £249,000 in the year to April last year, but this may reflect rising prices.

House of Commons orders by drink: 2012-13

  • House of Commons sauvignon: 49,464 bottles
  • House of Commons merlot: 26,196 bottles
  • Guest ale: 33,696 pints
  • Peroni Nastro Azzuro: 10,800 bottles
  • Becks: 10,800 bottles
  • Guinness: 9,768 pints
  • House of Commons champagne: 8,502 bottles
  • Casa Silva chardonnay: 6,192 bottles
  • House of Commons blended whiskey: 3,600 bottles
  • Speaker Bercow's whisky: 2,148 bottles
  • Gordon's gin: 400 bottles
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow's whisky was a popular choice. Credit: PA

The figures may lead to further questions over Parliament's supposed drinking culture, which was laid bare in the trial of Tory MP Nigel Evans, who was cleared of sex offences.

The Commons booze culture also hit the headlines when Eric Joyce was forced to resign the Labour whip in 2012 after fighting Tory MPs in a Commons bar.

Most of the alcohol will have been drunk by the 650 MPs, 760 peers, and thousands of staff and parliamentary workers in the Palace of Westminster.