Catering Services in the House of Commons

Written evidence submitted by Richard Graham MP

I think the general quality of catering in the House of Commons is very good, the staff outstanding, and I’m grateful to all those involved.

One suggestion:

Could the catering committee do more to support great British foods, and advertise them on its menus?

For example the famous EU protected brand name of Gloucester Old Spot Sausages: they’re absolutely delicious. Old Spot Sausages and mash in the Strangers and Members dining Room would be a sell out. And how about some single and double Gloucester cheese on the cheese board?

I believe the availability and marketing of Gloucester sausages and cheese and other well known British food brands would be good for Commons revenue (members would pay more for these renowned delicacies), good for the health of members and staff (setting an example on national obesity), and good for our role as the Champion of all that is best in our country.

And how about going a step further and having a British Foods Market Week with food stands in Westminster Hall, with a special overseas buyers reception – and foreign hoteliers/restaurants/airlines etc come over to see our delicacies in the finest setting for a food market in the world, opened by HRH Prince of Wales beside a Gloucester Old Spot pig and a Cotswolds sheep.

The FCO is going to be doing more exporting – no reason why Westminster Hall cannot become a great showcase for our leading products (and a modest revenue generator for Parliament).

Have Aston Martin or Jaguar ever been invited to do a car launch in Westminster Hall?

October 2010