Below is a press release issued by the Conservative Party on 31 January 2002.

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, John Bercow MP, today launched a ‘wastewatch’ campaign, calling on the public to help in highlighting the continued waste of public money across all departments of the Government.

Pointing to several staggering examples of frivolous expenditure, fraud and even theft within Government departments, Mr Bercow told conservatives.com, “far from every penny of public money being spent wisely to make peoples lives better, millions of pounds are being frittered away at our expense, examples of which range from the comic to the ridiculous.”

He continued, “a recent report said that the Metropolitan Police paid £185 for a kettle and £325 for a light bulb. Those authorising this profligacy have clearly lost all sense of responsibility to the taxpayer.”