Gordon Brown auctions off Tony Blairs gift clutter

December 2nd, 2007 - 3:10 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 2 (ANI): Britains Prime Minister Gordon Brown is preparing to auction more than 160 presents received by former PM Tony Blair during his term in office and will donate the money to charity.

According to Times Online, the gifts to be auctioned include 20 watches including 16 given by Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister 18 handwoven Middle Eastern rugs, a G8 dressing gown and two Omani daggers.

Government insiders indicate that the piles of gifts, being stored at 10 Downing Street, are taking up too much space and Brown is willing to dispose them of to make more room.

The gifts also include a bomber jacket from George W Bush during his visit to Camp David, dozens of tokens of respect from foreign leaders, including a 4,000 pounds, Segway electric scooter presented by the King of Jordan, a nativity scene presented by Yasser Arafat, and bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild from President Chirac of France costing 195 pounds.

However, not all the gifts that Blair received during his 10 years in office will be auctioned.

Under ministerial rules, he was allowed to take home any gift worth more than 140 pounds, if he paid the full market price from his own pocket.

He kept a 12-piece tea and coffee set given by President Vladimir Putin, for which he paid 300 pounds, and a 500 pounds fountain pen given to him by Chirac.

The sale is expected to raise about 150,000 pounds. (ANI)

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