Designer clothes, shoes and scarves among gifts sent to Theresa May

Charlotte Olympia Encore collection


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Designer clothes, shoes and scarves among gifts sent to Theresa May” was written by Jessica Elgot Political reporter, for The Guardian on Friday 13th October 2017 14.45 UTC

Theresa May was sent designer clothes, shoes and scarves from the likes of Stella McCartney and Charlotte Olympia, according to the latest government transparency data.

The prime minister also received gifts from world leaders including the King of Jordan, the King of Saudi Arabia and the president of Ukraine – but opted only to keep the present from the Ukrainian premier, a necklace valued at £160.

Government ethics rules mean the prime minister, ministers and special advisers must declare gifts received above the value of £140 – and pay for any of the gifts they wish to keep.

May is known for her love of fashion, especially designer shoes. The transparency data released on Friday revealed she was sent gifts by Stella McCartney, the fashion designer daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, which she purchased and kept, though no value is given.

She also received a pair of shoes by the luxury footwear designer Charlotte Olympia, famous for her quirky “kitty” designs – valued at £495.

The shoes are thought to be a pair designed for May to wear on Red Nose Day, a red velvet variation of the brand’s signature flat shoes featuring cat-like ears. The Cabinet Office records that the shoes were purchased by the prime minister.

A pair of Charlotte Olympia kitty flat shoes
A pair of Charlotte Olympia kitty flat shoes. May received a red velvet pair which she decided to purchase. Photograph: Charlotte Olympia

Other gifts include a Pittards leather handbag and gloves, three pairs of shoes from the online retailer Hotter Shoes UK and silk scarves from the luxury gift emporium Halcyon Days – but she did not opt to purchase them. The Onoto Pen Company sent a fountain pen, valued at £175, which May did buy.

Gifts from the Saudi and Jordanian royal families, including another fountain pen, a clock and a medal, are being held by the Cabinet Office, the department said.

Ministers and special advisers have become wary of accepting expensive gifts and hospitality since the prime minister David Cameron said data on travel, meetings and perks would be published in quarterly updates from each department.

According to the latest release between April to June, a number of cabinet ministers said they had received no gifts, including the chancellor, Philip Hammond, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, the business secretary, Greg Clark, the trade secretary, Liam Fox, the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, the home secretary, Amber Rudd, the former work and pensions secretary Damian Green, and his successor David Gauke.

Boris Johnson received a single gift – a Moser crystal glass bowl from the Czech president, Miloš Zeman – which the Foreign Office said was being held by the department. The foreign secretary received no other form of hospitality during that period, according to the data.

The culture secretary, Karen Bradley, received the most freebies from the arts and sports industries, including some of the most desirable football tickets such as Chelsea’s Premier League game against Manchester City, as well as the FA Cup and Champion’s League finals.

She also received six tickets to the Grand National, seats at the Royal Opera House’s production of La Traviata and two tickets for Ed Sheeran’s Up Close gig hosted by Global Radio.

Other ministers in the department also enjoyed a long list of hospitality at sporting and cultural events. Matt Hancock received Glastonbury tickets and seats for an Adele concert, as well as attending parties hosted by the Arts Council, the Serpentine Gallery and the Society of Authors, among others.

Other junior ministers including John Glen and Tracey Crouch were given items including hockey and boxing tickets.

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