Houses of Parliament
Government ministers have revealed that John Prescott’s private office spent hundreds of pounds at a casino in Australia.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has revealed that, in 2004, staff from the former deputy prime minister’s office clocked up a credit card bill of almost £1,000 while studying casino laws. Officials spent nearly £500 at the Star City casino in Sydney, as well as a further £490 at a seafood restaurant and £75 at an aquarium. Lord Prescott suggested that the cash spent at the Star City casino "probably" went on food and drinks.
The news comes as the government prepares to publish a report on Whitehall credit card expenditure. Lord Prescott yesterday told The Telegraph that he had "never had a credit card". Speaking about the specifics of his department’s credit card bill, Lord Prescott admitted:
"I know I am putting on a bit of weight, but even I couldn’t possibly eat at all those restaurants."
Housing minister Grant Shapps commented that the figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government reveal "a cavalier attitude to the public purse" under the Labour administration. The housing minister added that “there is something fishy about the public footing the bill for him (Lord Prescott) to go to an aquarium in Sydney”.