Rishi Sunak chose not to accept gifts from Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenksy, it has been revealed ahead of the Easter recess.
In typical fashion, the Government has published a series of written statements, documents and reports as MPs head on a two-week break.
Among the news that slipped out on the last day before the break were the exact figures behind the Festival of Brexit, which attracted just a fraction of the predicted visitors.
The official figures showed that the Festival of Brexit attracted just over 15,000 visitors over its nine-day run, far below the estimated 200,000 people that organisers had hoped to draw.
According to the organisers, the festival was intended to provide a “platform for the nation to come together and celebrate the end of the Brexit transition period”, but it appears that the event failed to attract the level of interest that had been anticipated.
The event was organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign group, which had promised “a once-in-a-lifetime celebration”.
The festival featured a range of activities, including live music, theatre, food and drink, and political events. However, despite the efforts of the organisers, the event failed to draw in the crowds that had been expected.
The low turnout has been attributed to a combination of factors, including the ongoing pandemic, and the fact that the event was held in December – a traditionally quiet month for tourism in London.
The festival had also been criticised for its lack of diversity and inclusivity, with some accusing it of lacking a “true representation of the British public”.
Ultimately, the Festival of Brexit failed to deliver on its promise of a “once-in-a-lifetime celebration”. Despite the efforts of the organisers, the event failed to attract the level of interest that had been anticipated, and it is likely to be remembered as a failed attempt to commemorate the end of the Brexit transition period.
The taxpayer-funded scheme saw ten projects take place across the country last year.
They included a decommissioned North Sea offshore rig turned into an art installation in Weston-super-Mare and a touring immersive experience named Dreamachine.
Officials had hoped up to 66 million people would take part, but a final evaluation report showed just 2.7 million attended in person.
In other news, a pilot scheme to stop prisoners taking zombie drug ‘spice’ proved to be a flop and it was found Whitehall departments responded to less than half of correspondence from MPs on time.
Rishi Sunak was also revealed to have rejected presents from Volodymyr Zelenksy.
Government transparency registers show Zelenksy gave him two items as gifts – a painting and a Ukrainian shirt.
The ministerial code states that ministers are allowed to keep only gifts below the value of £140, unless they pay their value above that sum.
But according to the official logs Sunak chose not to dig into his own pockets to keep the painting and shirt.
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