Lords rejected cost-cutting measures over fears of worse champagne

It’s a hard life being a lord. All that responsibility, privilege and ermine. And don’t forget the champagne. You can’t lord it up properly without decent bubbly.

Some people just don’t understand.

Actually quite a lot of people are feeling less empathetic than usual towards the lords, as it has emerged that an initiative to save the taxpayer money was rejected by lords over fears it could lead to lower quality champagne being available to them at work.

The scheme would have merged the two separate catering services which operate in the Commons and the Lords.

The news was revealed last week by Sir Malcolm Jack, who said during a committee meeting that the plans, which were first aired in 2006, were rejected “because the Lords feared that the quality of champagne would not be as good if they chose a joint service”.

Apparently gasps and open laughter were heard in the chamber, and Jack Straw, the chair of the committee, which was looking at how Westminster should be run, said: “Did you make that up? Is that true?” To which Sir Malcolm responded: “Yes it is true.”

According to the Observer, the House of Lords has a £1.3m annual catering budget and has bought in more than 17,000 bottles of champagne since the coalition government took office. Cheers!

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