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BBC spends £43k on alcohol in a year

The BBC spent £43,000 of taxpayers’ licence fee cash on alcohol last year, purchased exclusively from its “preferred supplier”, Majestic Wine.

Broadcasting_House_by_Stephen_Craven
BBC Broadcasting House in London

The figure was revealed following a freedom of information request with the BBC’s response later published on whatdotheyknow.com, an open database of FOI requests.

Bought largely to toast a series wrap or to entertain guests, the alcohol was purchased solely from UK wine merchant Majestic Wine.

The total spent on alcohol for the period 1 October 2013 to 26 October 2014 was £43,000.

The sum equates to nearly 300 colour television licence fees, priced at £145.50 each, and has emerged as Tory politicians make calls to scrap the licence fee and replace it with a voluntary subscription service.

The BBC insisted that it has “clear policies to ensure spend on hospitality is proportionate” adding that it is “always mindful that we are spending public money.”

Defending its spend, the BBC said: “Drinks may be purchased where there is an appropriate business purpose, for example at award ceremonies or to celebrate the successful completion of a series. The BBC has a rigorous expenses policy which has been progressively tightened and we are careful to ensure value for money.”

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