Chequers hospitality costs revealed

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Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron spent nearly £1,900 over three months entertaining the Queen, model Claudia Schiffer and other guests at his Chequers retreat.

The Cabinet Office has released the Prime Minister’s bill for official hospitality at the grace-and-favour residence between January and March last year.

The disclosure, in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association, came despite the department previously having insisted that it did not store such material “in a way that readily facilitates extraction”.

A list of people hosted by Mr Cameron at Chequers at public expense is published quarterly.

However, no costs have been given for the hospitality until now.

The latest FOI asked for details of spending on events attended by the named Chequers guests between January and March last year.

The Cabinet Office did not produce the itemised breakdown requested – but they did reveal that the overall bill for the quarter was £1,863.

It is not clear whether the sum includes staff cost, or whether that is covered by the annual grant – totalling £674,000 in 2012-13 – paid by the Government to keep Chequers running.

With 29 guests having been entertained, the average spend per head was around £64. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh dined at Chequers last February, their first visit to the Buckinghamshire pile in four decades.

Ms Schiffer and her film producer husband Matthew Vaughn, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland and Mr Cameron’s Tory ally Lord Feldman were also among the names.

Chequers was left to the nation by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham nearly a hundred years ago as a country bolt-hole for serving premiers.

Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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