Mandelson's expenses since his appointment to the Business brief in October 2008 total just over £3 million, spread across a range of claim categories including:
- £293,000 on flowers for his partner Reinaldo and friend Elton John, classed as 'ministerial decor';
- £400,000 in expenses for mortgage payments on his £2.5m London villa, claimed under the 'second homes' allowance;
- £600,000 in 'entertainment expenses', costs mostly incurred over three lunch dates with a Russian oligarch in the aluminium business;
- £1.4m paid to the 'Bottoms-Up Sex Accessory Store' of Hamburg, filed under 'clothing and working equipment allowances'.
A spokesman for Lord Mandelson insisted that the Minister's expenses were perfectly legitimate based on the important role he plays in slinging dirt at the Opposition.
He added, "Fritzl at the 'Bottoms-Up' is a first-rate tailor who provides all of the Ministers' clothing, ensuring that full measurements and which side Lord Mandelson dresses are taken in the most lengthy, detailed of fashions", at which point he came over all faint and had to have a lie down.
Gordon Brown's expenses are due to be released shortly, however pundits are not expecting them to show significant spending on tailoring or grooming.