Great Britain

Parliament slammed for splurging £33k of taxpayers’ cash on 18 luxury sofas, chairs and tables for meetings

PARLIAMENT’s bosses were slammed after it emerged they splurged more than £33,000 on just 18 luxury sofas and armchairs.

New sofas, chairs and tables have been installed in Portcullis House - the large atrium where MPs and staff meet for coffees, lunch and meetings.

They replaced a water feature which was recently removed.

The furniture bill amounted to £27,766, excluding VAT.

Eight armchairs worth more than £1,000 each from luxury furniture manufacturer Orangebox are among the new pieces of furniture.

Other pieces include four teal sofas, six tan leather chairs and several coffee and side tables.

A House of Commons spokesman defended the spending, saying: “Portcullis House is a hugely popular and valued building on the estate used by MPs and staff for dining, cafe facilities and as a meeting place.

“In recent years Portcullis House has become a central point for parliamentary business. In view of the increasing demand, we have adapted the courtyard to increase its capacity.”

FURNITURE SPLURGE

Cabinet minister Therese Coffey slammed the spending, tweeting: “I see House authorities have brought in sofas and luxury armchairs to the Atrium in Portcullis House. I’m not a skinflint but really??

“I hope these are donated/pro nono (sic) as an advert not taxpayers’ money.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary added: “These are the same House authorities that don’t provide appropriate office chairs or lighting for a working environment, helped by the fact that we are in a Royal Palace and not technically subject to health and safety legislation (though they take a lot of it seriously).”

Parliament disclosed last month that it spent more than £134,000 replacing a broken water feature in the atrium of Portcullis House, Buzzfeed reported.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Duncan Simpson said: “If Parliament is sitting on this kind of cash then it shouldn’t be splashing it on sofas just so that MPs can sit and slope in slightly greater comfort.

“Plenty of politicians are perfectly happy with what they already have in Portcullis House and if anything would probably prefer more office equipment to help them get on with their day jobs.

“Given the expensive refurbishment already under way, Commons authorities ought to be saving every penny of taxpayer cash possible, not piling it into comfortable armchairs and stylish settees.”

Jeremy Corbyn picks nose and wipes it on his beard in the Commons