07 January 1999
Cunningham slammed for DIY habit

THE House of Commons agricultural select committee has slammed former Jack Cunningham for spending over £3 million on new offices when he was agriculture minister.

The move from Whitehall Place to Smith Square after Labour came to power in 1997 cost £1m. Refurbishment cost an additional £2.1m.

The committee said Mr Cunningham made the decision to move on the basis of a “back of envelope” assessment rather than detailed cost analysis.

Improvements to ministerial offices included specialist joinery and plasterwork, new furniture, carpets and curtains.

Mr Cunningham also spent about £5000 on a desk for his ministerial office.

  • Financial Times 07/01/99 page 1
  • The Guardian 07/01/99 page 5