Almost £400,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on renting a dozen trees for MPs’ offices on the banks of the Thames.

They take pride of place in the glass-roofed courtyard which forms the centrepiece of the luxurious Portcullis House where many MPs have their offices.

The exotic weeping fig trees – ficus benjamina – were imported from Florida and planted in 2001.

Architects said the trees, surrounded by water features, were essential to provide shading to prevent the coffee bars and courtyard restaurants from becoming too hot on sunny days.

Now Freedom of Information requests have revealed that the bill for rental of the evergreen trees and their maintenance is £32,500 a year. Read More

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