DoH under fire for spending £2,500 on Christmas tree

The DoH is under fire for spending £2,485 on an 18ft 'dressed' Christmas tree for its Skipton House headquarters in Southwark, south London.

The total spend on DoH Christmas trees this year was £3,200 (Photograph: SPL)
The total spend on DoH Christmas trees this year was £3,200 (Photograph: SPL)

It spent a further £750 on three small trees at Richmond House, in Whitehall, to replace a larger tree that fell into disrepair, taking the total spend to more than £3,200.

Mike Penning, Conservative shadow minister for health, said: ‘This is astonishing at a time when you would expect austerity from the department. Frontline services are struggling for funding — this is where money should be going.'

A DoH spokesman said: ‘It is tradition that the department has Christmas trees at Skipton House, Richmond House and Wellington House. The amount spent covers the trees for these buildings, which is less than budgeted for last year.'

All trees come from sustainable forests and are replanted and are recycled after use. All the costs include dressing and disposal of the trees.

Editor's blog: The NHS is Labour's 'trump card' but don't mention the Christmas trees

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