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Goodwin Dined At Chequers While Rbs Was Losing £24bn

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/polit...bn-1750092.html

Fred Goodwin, the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, wined and dined at Chequers with Gordon Brown in the same year that he was presiding over the biggest losses in British corporate history.

Sir Fred, who resigned last October shortly before the RBS collapsed with debts of more than £24bn, visited Chequers with his wife, Lady Joyce, earlier in 2008. Yesterday, Downing Street released a glittering list of the rich and famous who have been Gordon and Sarah Brown's guests at the Prime Minister's country residence in a series of announcements about the cost of running the Government.

Sir Victor Blank and Eric Daniels, chairman and chief executive of Lloyds banking group, and their wives were also on the guest list. Sir Victor was forced to stand down in May after it emerged Lloyds had made crippling losses from its merger with HBOS the previous September.

Gordon and Sarah Brown's hospitality bill almost doubled in one year. In 2007-8, they spent a modest £78,900 on guests including only a few names from showbusiness, but a weighty contingent of businessmen, writers, architects and others from less glamorous professions. But in 2008-9, as Gordon's political fortunes slumped, the bill for hospitality at Chequers and 10 Downing Street soared to £136,000.

Fine dining with Kate

Among the 205 guests invited to Chequers during the year was a galaxy of television stars, such as Matt Lucas and David Walliams, of Little Britain fame – but noticeably did not include a single trade union leader.

Kate Garraway, the former GMTV presenter, received an invitation, and brought her husband, the former Labour spin doctor Derek Draper.

Two other GMTV presenters, Lorraine Kelly and Penny Smith, were also invited. So was Lisa Aziz, presenter of ITV's West Country Tonight, who is currently suspended because of a dispute over her expenses. She is reputedly accused of seven wrong claims, including £5.75 for cleaning a child's top.

Other guests were the fashion designer Ozwald Boateng, the writer Bill Bryson, the comedians Jimmy Carr and Bruce Forsyth, the actors Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, the opera diva Lesley Garrett, the children's poet laureate Michael Rosen, the Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, and the football commentator John Motson. An unusually large number of journalists also received invitations, suggesting that Mr Brown has been working hard on improving relations with the press. They include Colin Myler, the editor of the News of the World who was a central figure in the privacy case brought by the Formula 1 boss Max Mosley, and Will Lewis, editor of the Daily Telegraph, whose newspaper obtained a leaked list of MPs' expenses.

Globetrotting

Ministers racked up a bill of £9.4m in foreign trips, a rise of almost 80 per cent on the previous year, despite the recession. The Prime Minister alone spent £4.6m globetrotting. Many trips were made to build support for the G20 summit, which he hosted in London in April.

The Prime Minister's trip to the US, where he met President Obama in March, cost almost £290,000. However, his most expensive outing came later that month, when he spent £743,341 preparing for his G20 summit by visiting Strasbourg, France, the US, Brazil and Chile. He also spent £500,000 on a trip to Asia in August that included a stop off at the Beijing Olympics.

He was not the only minister to take in a world-class sporting occasion. Both the then Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, and his minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, spend £4,000 to attend the Champions League final in Moscow last May. Mr Sutcliffe also attended the Euro 2008 Championships.

Gifts for Gordon

From briefcases, bowls and gold coins to rugs, pens and hampers, Gordon Brown returned from his travels bearing armfuls of presents.

He declared 38 gifts – the vast majority of them from foreign leaders. But there was no mention of the DVD boxset of classic American movies he received from President Obama in March – because it was valued at below the £140 threshold over which gifts have to be registered.

More generous was Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, who three times gave Mr Brown a box of fine silk ties. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, lavished four presents on him over the 12 months – wine (twice), glassware and, less conventionally, an eBook reading device.

Excellent value for money, Gordon doing his bit doubling the hospitality bill for the taxpayer. Now that's what I call progress.

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Former Labour spin doctor Derek Draper, received an invitation, and brought his wife, Kate Garraway, the former GMTV presenter

Corrected

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But there was no mention of the DVD boxset of classic American movies he received from President Obama in March – because it was valued at below the £140 threshold over which gifts have to be registered.

They were on offer at WalMart.

Obama can be quite clear when he wants to be, can't he?

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Why do we pay for him to have dinner with celebrities? That is just odd.

A copy of Hello should suffice for the celebrity addled bozo.

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Ahh....this must be one of the 'values' his god bothering old man taught him when he was a nipper. How to splurge other people's money on buying best fwends to say nice things about him.

Crook and liar like all the rest.

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Picture the scene. Godwin at Dinner with the Brown.

PLIP

"I say, waiter, theres an eye in my soup"

Edited by Bloo Loo

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Ahh....this must be one of the 'values' his god bothering old man taught him when he was a nipper. How to splurge other people's money on buying best fwends to say nice things about him.

Crook and liar like all the rest.

did his old man teach him his attitudes towards debt as well.

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