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Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch questions the drinking culture at Westminster

A Kent MP has spoken of her disillusionment with the drinking culture at Westminster, saying the number of people going through the lobbies “reeking of booze” left her upset.

Ms Crouch, the Chatham and Aylesford MP who recently announced she had recovered from cancer, was asked in an interview if she had made a 'conscious decision' to avoid bars in Westminster.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch
Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch

She replied: "I would not say that I never went to the bars in the Commons, because that’s not true, but I do try not to drink in Westminster. I consider it my place of work.

"I just sort of sit there and think, if I worked in Tesco, I wouldn’t go off and have a glass of wine in the canteen.

"It’s not to say that, you know, moral high ground about drinking at Westminster. I just think I became quite upset, quite disillusioned by the number of people going through division lobbies reeking of booze. It’s just not a pleasant environment.

"I know colleagues that have missed votes or voted the wrong way because of alcohol, and I prefer to just stay focused, and do my drinking when I’m home instead, with my family and friends."

A row was triggered when it emerged that bars in the Commons would stay open despite a ban on bars and restaurants opening elsewhere during the national Covid lockdown last year.

The MP has questioned the Westminster drinking culture
The MP has questioned the Westminster drinking culture

It was also revealed MPs would not have had to follow new stricter rules on face coverings introduced for other licensed premises.

The Speaker of the House of Commons intervened and said that bars would have to shut by 10pm.

Back in 2010, the former Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless apologised after getting drunk in one of the bars.

He was waiting to take part in a late-night vote and had spent the evening drinking heavily. He said that he was very sorry and that he no longer intended to drink at the Commons.

Ms Crouch was speaking in an interview with GBNews.

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