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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Away day

The Daily Telegraph contains the sort of article today that normally one would expect to see in the News of the World. They record that the Department of Communities and Local Government, who are in charge of housing and local neighbourhoods in England, paid £4,719 to hold a team-building session at the Brickhouse burlesque club in the east end of London last May.

No phone was hacked to obtain this information, indeed it came from the more traditional route of a parliamentary answer. In addition the responsible minister has insisted that no one "watched burlesque chanteuse Lady Beau Peep".

The paper says that in a written answer, submitted to Parliament and published today, Bob Neill, the minister, said the total cost of the event was £4,719.21 – far in excess of the £1,300 figure which first emerged last month when the department admitted the away day had taken place. The cost comprised £3,417.71 of payments made to an events company called Poisson Rouge and £1,301.50 paid to the venue:

Mr Neill explained, however, that while the event had taken place in a venue associated with scantily-clad dancers and hedonism, no alcohol was drunk. He added: "The event involved hire of a room during the day at the venue, for a review of work in internal audit.

"While I am informed the Brickhouse often features such figures as 'burlesque chanteuse Lady Beau Peep' and 'showgirl sensation Amber Topaz', the event in this instance did not involve civil servants watching, or indeed, performing cabaret or other eclectic entertainment."

It is most probably best to make our excuses and leave rather than have details of the team building exercises but do not worry, according to the Minister it was all the fault of the last government.
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