Tories run out of drinks and credit

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The Independent Online
DRINKS HAD to be found in an hurry for a reception hosted by Michael Howard, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, after the Conservative party ran out of credit at an off-licence.

An unpaid bill of around pounds 1,500 left staff at Majestic Wines telling the foreign affairs team that their business was temporarily unwelcome.

The drinks were being sought for a reception by Mr Howard for foreign journalists at the party's Central Office in Smith Square, Westminster.

A party source was quoted as saying: "In the end we had to go to Victoria Wine in Marsham Street, where they don't know us." A party spokesman last night blamed it on an "oversight". "Obviously we meant to pay off all monies outstanding but there appeared to be a mistake on our behalf," he said. The accounts department would settle the bill "forthwith".

John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister said: "William Hague's leadership is enough to drive anyone to drink. Now we know we he hasn't got the bottle to take on Michael Howard and John Redwood - he can't afford one."