Shadow Lord Chancellor Charlie Falconer recently hit the headlines for claiming the covid crisis is ‘the gift which keeps on giving.’ Unfortunately, it appears the Blairite millionaire with the bulging wallets and slimmed down waistline is less giving when it comes to settling his own bar bill.
The peer was one of nine recorded as have outstanding debts at the House of Lords at the beginning of last month alongside fellow Labour lords Robert Winston and Maurice Glasman, according to a Freedom of Information request sent by Mr S. Fortunately for Falconer, the sums are not too extravagant – a mere £9.15 – which places him just between his fellow New Labour minister Baroness Andrews on £3.20 and serial expenses offender Lord Hanningfield on £9.60.
Other well-known faces on the list include David Trimble – architect of the Good Friday agreement – who owed £12.28 or the equivalent of three and a half pints of Guinness in the House of Lords bar. Former health minister Glenys Thornton meanwhile topped the list with an outstanding debt of £129.19 – enough to buy you four bottles of Commons branded champagne from Chigny-les-Roses.
Steerpike hopes the beancounters of the Upper House are keeping close tabs on their noble lordships’ debts.