Beckett's call to account

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The Independent Online
Margaret Beckett, the President of the Board of Trade, last night spelt out how almost pounds 65,000 of taxpayers' money was spent on renovating her official residence in Admiralty Arch.

She disclosed in a Commons written reply to John Redwood, her Tory shadow, that pounds 52,875 went on decorations and installing kitchen units; pounds 9,208 on buying the units, a table and chairs; pounds 1,818 on domestic items; and pounds 413 on porterage. A further pounds 12,314 for related project management brought the total cost to pounds 76, 628.

When the refurbishment was revealed, Mr Redwood said: "While Labour is threatening to take money from the disabled, Mrs Beckett is getting a nice injection of taxpayers' cash to help with her living arrangements."