Government officials are refusing to say how many bottles of wine were consumed at functions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Officials in charge of the Government’s wine cellar have rejected calls to disclose how many bottles were brought out for functions at No10 in the two years of the pandemic, when social distancing guidelines were in place.
Despite previously revealing how much wine and what vintages were used for visits by the Pope and President Barack Obama, the Foreign Office now says it wants to keep the information under wraps.
It rejected a Freedom of Information request for details of the functions, but the case will now go to the Information Tribunal after transparency campaigners stepped in.
In its court documents the Foreign Office stated: “It may compromise the goal of such international engagement by providing a running commentary of which foreign representatives were met and which were not met; how much was spent on one country, as opposed to the other; and diminish the ability to engage in secure and confidential channels of communication.”
Downing Street said none of the events catered for by its £2 million, 40,000-bottle stash broke Covid rules and were not part of the Partygate probe.
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