Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

‘What? No martini!’ MPs complain about subsidised catering at House of Commons


It’s a tough life at the House of Commons. Aperitifs are in short supply, the Cajun food is poor and there is a dearth of ‘fresh game’ on the lunchtime menu.

Those are the views, at least, of a few anonymous MPs whose views have been revealed by a recent Freedom of Information request, Metro has reported.

Though officials reportedly said the number of complaints was relatively small, the extravagance of requests knew no bounds. Chitterlinks (pigs intestines) and a live jazz band were among some of the suggestions made.

To one anonymous MP, the poor selection of pre-dinner drinks was a particular source of dissatisfaction.

‘We were told by the waiter that there was no martini. I then enquired about a gin and tonic, a Campari or even a sherry for my guest only to be told that, no, only wine was available,’ said the MP.

‘All rather embarrassing, don’t you think? Whoever is in charge of the drinks stock should really get their act together.’

Cooking methods also provoked indignation. One MP commented: ‘ Having been to New Orleans and being an excellent Cajun cook myself I can assure you that there are NO potatoes in gumbo’.

The MP went on: ‘I think the potato thing is getting out of hand. Yes, I know our meals are ‘‘subsidised’’ by the taxpayer but we really have very little choice but to dine in the House.’

The complaints come despite the fact government meals are subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of £5.8million a year, meaning a pint of beer inside the Commons costs just £1.70 (less than the going rate at a local Wetherspoons) and a slow-cooked pork belly and vegetables main rings in at £3.55.

Should the taxpayer continue subsidising Westminster meals and drinks? Cast your vote below.