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House of Lords Champagne sales reach five-year peak

In 2023, almost £90,000 worth of Champagne was sold in the House of Lords, the highest level in the last five years.

House of Lords Champagne sales reach five-year peak

Over the course of the year, 1,589 bottles were purchased, at a total cost of £88,987.90, according to figures released under Freedom of Information and published by The Telegraph.

Sales rose in 2023 compared to the previous year, when 1,580 bottles of Champagne were sold at a cost of £85,462.51.

Only 180 bottles were sold in 2020, when Coronavirus hit the UK, with House of Lords Champagne sales amounting to just £8,982 in that year. The year before, in 2019, 1,441 bottles were purchased in the House of Lords, at a cost of £69,988.80.

It’s no surprise that fizz flies off the shelves in the House of Lords. A previous Freedom of Information request from 2023 found that almost twice as much white wine was consumed in parliament bars than red wine in 2022, showing a strong preference among parliamentary members.

However, the wine list in the Houses of Parliament are not always up to par with the tastes of peers. In 2022, members of the House of Lords sent letters criticising the “disappointing” food and drink served in Parliament, complaining of too much salmon and poor quality Chardonnay.

Scottish National Party MPs have hit back against the news, saying it reveals the “lavish lifestyles” of peers.

According to The Telegraph, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “Voters will be fizzing to hear that, while they were struggling to balance household finances and pay for basics like groceries and energy, unelected Lords were glugging back champagne.

“The past year has been defined by Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis that has seen living standards plummet and countless more households pushed into poverty and deprivation – a reality alien to the Lords and their lavish lifestyles.”

However, the House of Lords gift shop and events hosted by external parties are responsible for the majority of Champagne sales, according to a spokesperson, who stressed that “it is not paid for by the taxpayer”.

“Most of the Champagne sold by the House of Lords is bought by visitors in the gift shop and consumed away from Parliament by members of the public, or sold at banqueting events to organisations or individuals hosting the event in the House of Lords,” the spokesperson said.

“All alcohol, including champagne, sold in the House of Lords is sold at a profit.”

All House of Lords Champagnes currently stocked on the Houses of Parliament shop are produced by Gardet.

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