MPs have splurged around £250,000 of taxpayers’ money having portraits painted of fellow parliamentarians, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The spree, branded “an expensive vanity project” by critics, included £10,000 on a portrait of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, £4,000 to preserve Foreign Secretary William Hague in oils and £8,000 for a painting of Kenneth Clarke, the Minister Without Portfolio.

Labour Left-wingers Diane Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn each sat for portraits, at a cost to the public purse of £11,750, £2,180 and £2,000 respectively.

Reported by the Evening Standard. You can read the full story here.

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare since ever since.