Cherie Blair given £2,000 of designer clothes in Australia

Cherie Blair may be one of Britain's most successful barristers, but she could not resist a free gift when she went on a shopping trip Down Under.

The Prime Minister's wife, who is in Australia for an international law conference, was reported to have walked away with 68 items of free designer clothing after she was invited to visit a fashionable Melbourne store. Mrs Blair left the Globe International store in Port Melbourne with clothes worth Aus$5,000 (£2,000), the Herald Sun, a Melbourne daily newspaper, reported.

Most of the clothes were said to be for her children Nicky, 17, Kathryn, 15, and Leo, two, who were with their mother on the visit.

The paper said the haul included jackets, sweaters, polo shirts, T-shirts, mini-skirts, jeans, shorts, belts and bags. Books, an alarm clock, a lunchbox, necklaces, a beach play-set, pillow cases, pyjamas, socks and boxer shorts were also listed.

"We didn't actively seek her to come down, which is what we have done with the likes of Robbie Williams," Globe's marketing manager, Anna Craig, told the paper. "It was more about an Australian company offering hospitality to the wife of the second most powerful man in the world. We did not single her out because we want her to wear the label. It was more a gesture to save her time and, though this may sound tacky, welcome her on behalf of Australia." Ms Craig would not say whether Mrs Blair paid. "I am not in a position to answer that. That would be confidential," she told the paper.

Globe International's labels, including Mooks and M-One-11, are popular with pop stars and young celebrities.

The Melbourne-based label has dressed Robbie Williams, Nelly Furtado, Fatboy Slim and members of the band Blue. But Ms Craig said that she "really doubted that Cherie or Tony Blair would wear our labels". She added: "I think she did grab a few items for herself. But she has a stylist, so I don't think she'll be wearing Mooks in public."

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the newspaper reports from Australia. He said: "We are not saying anything. We do not speak for Mrs Blair."

The latest episode comes just months after the "Cheriegate" affair when Mrs Blair had to defend her links with an Australian conman, Peter Foster, after disclosures that he helped to negotiate her a discount on two flats in Bristol.

Mrs Blair stunned onlookers at the Labour Party conference last year by touring stands collecting bags full of free samples, mugs and pens for her children.

The Blairs have also been embroiled in more than one row over enjoying free holidays abroad. In 2001, the Egyptian government paid for the Blairs to fly from Cairo to a resort on the Red Sea where they stayed in two villas, at the Egyptian government's expense. A beach was closed and a two-mile exclusion zone set up around the bay to keep out boats and other divers.

In 1999, the Blairs donated a reported £3,000 to an Italian hospital after accepting the hospitality of the Tuscan regional government during their summer holiday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism