Bercows 'did not put Parliamentary security at risk' when Speaker's wife Sally sold furniture from apartment on eBay before McAlpine court battle
There were concerns when Mrs Bercow invited winning bidders to collect items from their Westminster flat
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow and his wife Sally have rebuffed claims that Parliamentary security was put at risk when they put furniture from their grace-and-favour Palace of Westminster flat up for sale on eBay.
Mrs Bercow sold £1,600 worth of furniture from their flat on the online auction site in the weeks preceding her libel battle with Lord McAlpine and the estimated £100,000 legal bill that followed.
Items such as an "immaculate" Duresta sofa - sold for£480 - and an antique oak dresser (going for well under its £2,250 valuation price at £250) were put up on the site with an invitation to the winning bidder to collect their purchase from Westminster, sparking security fears.
However, a spokesman for the couple told the Evening Standard: "There are no security concerns as all visitors to the Parliamentary estate undergo strict searches as a condition of entry and are restricted on where they may go on the estate once they are admitted."
Though the items of furniture came from the couple's grace-and-favour flat, which they moved into in 2009, it was made clear that they belonged to the couple.
Shortly after moving in, the Bercows refurbished the apartment at a cost of £45,000 to the taxpayer.
In January, the pair bought a £935,000 six-bed 1980s Thames-side townhouse in south London, to which Mrs Bercow seemed to allude to in one listing.
"‘Antique and period-style furniture just won’t work in the new, modern house we bought recently," she wrote.
Mrs Bercow was taken to court by former Tory Treasurer Lord McAlpine after she falsely implied that he was a paedophile to her 56,000 Twitter followers. She fought the case and lost, ending up with a bill for damages and legal costs thought to be in the region of £100,000.
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
The unluckiest people of the year 2013
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of her marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£60000 - £90000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£52000 per annum + Fantastic Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Audit Supervisor...
£38000 - £86000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Celebrate the New...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Secondary Maths Teache...