Bank of England staff enjoyed 'lavish' party in Brexit vote aftermath


Bumper cars, laser tag and face painting were just some of the activities Bank of England governor Mark Carney and 2,500 staff enjoyed at a near-£100,000 summer shindig while Britain struggled with fall-out from the Brexit vote, it has emerged.

The taxpayer-funded jolly - which took place just two weeks after the UK's decision to leave the EU - saw Bank employees and their families treated to a host of entertainment, also including bouncy castles, a climbing wall, fairground, a magic show, paddling pool and, intriguingly, a mobile farm.

Further details of the annual Governors' Day event show Bank staff enjoyed music provided by a steel band and a hot-and-cold buffet throughout the day at the July 10 party at its sports ground in Roehampton, south west London.

The party was branded "lavish" and a "slap in the face" for long-suffering savers earlier this month by the TaxPayers' Alliance when the cost of the event was first revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association.

The Bank said it spent more than £94,500 excluding VAT on food, entertainment and the venue for the summer event, with nearly another £4,500 on "other" costs, including shuttles to and from the local train station.

Details of the party spending come as Mr Carney is warning Britons to brace for an inflation shock in 2017, with a surge in the cost of living set to far outpace wage growth, while savers will endure another year of rock bottom returns after the Bank halved interest rates to 0.25% in August.

It also emerged at a difficult time for the Bank, with Mr Carney under political fire amid complaints he went too far in warning of the economic dangers of Brexit in order to bolster Remain during the referendum campaign.

He has faced calls to resign after the Bank controversially warned Brexit could tip the UK into recession ahead of the vote, only to have since rowed back on its gloomy predictions.

The Bank has insisted it "carefully budgeted" for the its summer party.

It said the Governors' Day was a "long-held tradition that is open to all employees - including members of the Monetary Policy Committee - including their families, with the aim of recognising their hard work and dedication".

Canadian Mr Carney has revamped the annual fete since taking over from predecessor Lord King, ditching the traditional cricket match in 2014 in favour of a game of rounders.

This year's event also saw party-goers take part in a fun run, swimming, squash, snooker, trampolining and various other "sporting activities and tournaments", according to the Bank.