Could Tamara's life in the fast lane hit Bernie's wallet?

Ms Ecclestone's excess causes Aussie MP to question Formula One subsidies

Sydney

Boasting a £45m London house complete with crystal bathtub,
massage parlour for her five dogs and a handbag collection valued
at £500,000, Tamara Ecclestone's lavish lifestyle may not be to
everyone's taste.

But it has now attracted the ire of an Australian MP, who yesterday accused Ms Ecclestone, daughter of Bernie, the Formula One chief executive, of benefiting from the 50m Australian dollars (£34m) that the Victorian state government spends on hosting the annual F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.

Having watched Channel Five's three-part documentary on the 27-year-old, which aired late last year, the Victoria MP, Kelvin Thomson, was full of scorn for her opulent lifestyle as he addressed the Australian parliament. "Her busy day includes taking [her] dogs to Harrods to have their hair sprayed and nails painted," Mr Thomson said. "There are better ways to spend A$50m, year in and year out, than bankrolling Bernie's billionaire bogan." In Australia, "bogan" is a disparaging term similar to "chav".

Ms Ecclestone, whose London home features a private bowling alley, an underground nightclub and a lift for her £370,000 Ferrari, hit back. In a reference to the documentary, she tweeted: "Surprised Kelvin Thompson [sic] has the time to watch and comment on #billiondollargirl being an MP."

But Mr Thomson refused to back down, saying that the high-profile model – who arranged a party for her stockbroker boyfriend, Omar Khyami, where guests ate sushi off a naked woman lying on a table – was fair game. "She's not some Greta Garbo, saying 'I want to be left alone'," he told the television programme Breakfast. "She is a willing, indeed enthusiastic, participant in charting this extravagant and self-indulgent lifestyle."

The MP called for a debate on whether Victorian taxpayers should continue to line the pockets of the Ecclestone family or whether the sponsorship money would be better spent on building a new school, helping flood-ravaged communities or constructing underground power lines – a recommendation of a Royal Commission into the deadly 2009 bushfires in Victoria.

Speaking about the programme, Billion $$ Girl, Mr Thomson said Ms Ecclestone "is shown supervising the refurbishment of her £45m home in London, which includes commissioning a £1m bathtub carved from Mexican crystal".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border