Ministers have defended the right of their departmental employees to consume alcohol in the office when permitted to do so by their line managers on special occasions, such as toasting a milestone achievement or a departing colleague.
Responding to a Parliamentary question by Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter, Communities Minister Kris Hopkins said no taxpayers’ money was spent on alcohol and a “secret nationalised” bar in the basement of the Department for Communities and Local Government had been closed.
“Yet ministers in this department are not killjoys,” he said. “There is no prohibition on alcohol consumption (funded privately). And we recognise that there may be occasions when it is not inappropriate for a few drinks after work.”
He encouraged staff to continue any celebrations in a nearby licensed premises to support Britain’s pub trade.