Bank's bumper send-off for Sir Mervyn King

Sir Mervyn King received a £10,000 portrait of himself and other retirement presents worth £3,000 from the Bank of England last month, it emerged yesterday.

The Bank also spent more than £10,000 on three events and dinners, including an evening reception that came in at nearly £5,000, before Lord King's departure. In addition to the portrait, he received a £597 silver napkin ring and a £2,505 sculpture of the German poet Johann von Goethe.

The Bank racked up £4,672 for an evening reception on 26 June for Lord King, and followed this with a £3,450 dinner the next day, according to Freedom of Information requests submitted by Microsoft's MSN UK. The bill for another dinner on 28 June was £3,800, while flowers and invitations cost £1,501.

The Bank said the napkin ring and portrait were traditional gifts to departing governors.

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