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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Blair's make-up bill tops 1,800
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Media reports said make-up costs spiralled because of stressful times
Prime Minister Tony Blair has spent more than 1,800 of taxpayers' money on cosmetics and make-up artists since coming into office, it has emerged.

Between 1999 and 2005 Downing Street paid 1,050.22 for cosmetics for Mr Blair's media appearances.

Another 791.20 was spent over the past two years on make-up artists.

But this seems modest compared with Irish premier Bertie Ahern, who is reported to have spent more than 115,000 on his appearance since 1997.

The Independent reported in June that Mr Ahern had spent 28,000 euros (19,000) on make-up in the past year, and said his office had confirmed that since 1997 Mr Ahern's appearance had cost taxpayers 167,000 euros (115,895).

The figures relating to Mr Blair's expenditure on cosmetics were revealed on Thursday by government whip Lord Bassam of Brighton, in answer to a Parliamentary question by Tory Lord Hanningfield.

The written Parliamentary answer was given out on the final day before MPs and peers broke for the summer.

Fake tan?

The day was also marked by an attempted bomb attack on London transport, similar to the attacks carried out on 7 July.

The Sunday Times suggested Mr Blair's use of make-up spiralled during stressful periods, such as the Iraq war.

It said his spending on cosmetics peaked between 2003 and 2004, when the prime minister was being asked to justify intelligence reports on weapons of mass destruction.

There was also speculation during the last election campaign about whether Mr Blair had been using fake tan.

But the brands and products used by Mr Blair were not revealed in the Parliamentary answer.




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