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Steerpike

Parly passholders splash £10k a week on booze

Parly passholders splash £10k a week on booze
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After the lean years of Covid, there were fears for the future of the parliamentary bars in Westminster. Would they ever return to their former greatness as the social hubs of SW1? Fortunately, the removal of all restrictions from the end of January and the resumption of full-time service has prompted a roaring trade in the half-a-dozen fleshpots of parliament.

For in the first eight weeks of normalcy, the Commons cash-registers recorded an impressive £82,000 worth of sales between February to March to 2022. More than £10,000 a week was made flogging everything from pints of the ultra-popular guest ale and Guinness – which boasted £8,376 and £6,582 worth of respective sales – down to 17 champagne cocktails eight Kir Royales and two Camparis.

Indeed trade, if anything, has been a little too roaring perhaps: parliamentary gradees have written to MPs to tell them to stop letting inebriated staff from kipping overnight in their offices to sleep off a hangover. But for those concerned about drinking on the estate, it seems that Commons managers have now stumbled on a solution: price increases.

Following a hike in bar costs in April, sales slumped at watering holes in the Palace of Westminster, down to just over £16,000 for the entire month. Only 153 different types of alcohol were sold although an improvement in the weather coincided with a changing taste in beverages as sales in Pimms and Rose became popular once more.

Perhaps the parliamentary barmen ought to adopt a new slogan over their bars: are you drinking what we’re drinking?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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