Culture secretary buys Attitude magazine on expenses

He’s new to the job, but Press Gazette has learned a fair amount about culture secretary Ben Bradshaw’s media consumption from his 2007/08 expenses claims, which were published yesterday.

Last year, Bradshaw regularly dipped into the FT, Guardian, Times, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, Observer, News of the World, Sunday Times, Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and The Sun.

He also reads the New Statesman, Prospect, The Economist and the Western Morning News on his frequent trips on First Great Western trains from London to his constituency in Exeter.

Bradshaw also claimed back the £3.25 cover price for two issues of Attitude, the monthly gay lifestyle magazine.

The expenses also reveal that he was a bit late paying his TV licence one year – and his staff seem to have had trouble getting to grips with the digital TV switchover.

Engineers were called out on 21 January 2008 because “staff were unable to get the Freeview box to work with combination unit”.

The bill says: “It was explained that there would be a call-out charge if the fault was unconnected to the repair, also they were asked to double check the scart was connected correctly.

“However they felt a call was necessary and we sent a engineer along, unfortunately they were trying to connect the scart the wrong way around.”

The simple error cost Bradshaw, and the taxpayer, a £20 call-out charge plus VAT.

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