“David Willetts also sent a memo to Margaret Thatcher in 1985]about the benefits of private healthcare compared to the NHS.
In one section about whether the private sector should be brought in to run a psychiatric hospital, he explained:
“The hospital is run cost-effectively. Only one in 20 patients gets a tray meal: the rest go to one canteen which is shared with the staff.
“The building avoids ‘staff traps’ – private areas where staff can take a rest.”
Independent online today
“A Freedom of Information request reveals how peers are so unhappy with their 8 eateries they’ve been sending handwritten complaints to Parliament.
Peers can buy confit halibut for £15, “prawn and lobster meat folded into Avugar caviar” for £10, or a full roast dinner for £9.50.
A restaurant in central London would charge £25 for a similar halibut dish, while prawn and lobster with caviar could rack up around £30 and a roast dinner could set you back £18.
One complaint was from a very angry member of the Lords left waiting 30 minutes for a sandwich in the Bishop’s Bar.
He was so dissatisfied he wrote a letter to Lord Sewell, Chairman of the Committees at the House of Lords – one of several revealed after the information request by MailOnline.
He wrote in the letter, dated 26 November 2014: “For the second time in two weeks I waited over half an hour for a sandwich in the Bishops Bar.
On the first occasion, a chef who did not seem to be doing anything was present and today it was just chaotic.”
Another complaint was from a Lord who was “very disappointed” because his creme brulee wasn’t very cheesy – and a worker put a pat of butter in his soup, which he found “a bit odd”.
He said the “supreme of Hake” dish was “awful” and too plain, saying:” The Hake was completely unadorned, with a hard crust on top.”
He claimed that he requested something to make the dish more bearable, but was handed more pats of butter.
This particular Lord says he will no longer be able to entertain guests there unless the food improves.
The Head of Catering services Tim Lamming, said he read the peer’s complaint “with dismay” and said: “I must apologise most sincerely for the dip in standards and I will investigate the issues you have raised.”
Further upset has been caused by the fact that peers can now no longer select a second vegetable with their dish.
One peer complained that there was a lack of variation in the vegetables served, saying: “Cabbage, broccoli, sprouts and spinach have almost vanished completely in favour of root vegetables.”
This week with the roast meat we have had in succession carrots, parsnip and celeriac, so that with roast potatoes there is a considerable excess of carbohydrates.”
Other bugbears were that wine per glass had increased by 30p, the yoghurt is too heavy and staff need to smile more often.
No wonder the government wants to curtail Freedom of Information!