British Cabinet Ministers were accused of being 'Scrooges' after they gave just £35 each towards a group wedding present for Prince William and Kate Middleton. Together the 23 Ministers raised £805.
The 23 Ministers, who each earn about £135,000 a year, received letters from Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell telling them £35 was ‘an appropriate sum’.
The £805 will be given to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding charity, which supports 26 charities chosen by them. The amount and the decision to give it to charity was agreed by Sir Gus and David Cameron after fears it would be embarrassing if some bought lavish gifts while others gave nothing.
The decision was approved after a Cabinet discussion. Ministers then privately agreed they would all give exactly £35 to avoid one-upmanship. One said: ‘You can imagine the kind of media frenzy there would be if everyone gave different amounts. It may not be very romantic but it is best if we all do the same.’
Labour MP Tom Watson said: ‘Most people will think £35 is pretty mean-minded coming from well-paid Ministers who can afford to give a lot more, especially when it is going to such good causes. You would raise more money at a jumble sale.’ Nick Clegg and Mr Cameron will also buy the Royal couple separate presents.