Respite for Westminster 
wine cellar

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Politicians routinely call for us to cut our alcohol consumption.

Now MPs appear to be practising what they preach as consumption of the Government’s official wine cellar has dropped by more than 13 per cent in the past year.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said the cellar was now “self funding” in the third annual report on the store, as he published figures showing the organisation has turned a profit, albeit narrower than in 2012-13.

Sales of “high value” stock and purchases by other Government departments helped the Foreign Office produce positive figures, Mr Simmonds said in a written statement to MPs.

Consumption of bottles in the cellar was down 13.5 per cent on last year, he said.

Sales amounted to £56,000 while money from other departments added more than £16,000 to receipts.

Purchases were up on previous years, with payments made amounting to £50,054, compared with £45,866 in 2011-12.

In 2012-13, sales stood at £63,000 with more than £22,000 bought by other departments.

Almost half the wine consumed was English, at 48 per cent, down a fraction on the 49 per cent reported last year.