Stat of the day: £44,000

The new cost of a portrait and coat of arms for John Bercow, after the Speaker of the House of Commons realised he'd overlooked a couple of bills...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Get those pitchforks sharpened – here’s one that’ll have even the most placid of individuals gunning to join the mob. John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has admitted that the cost of his much-mocked (and, crucially, taxpayer-funded) coat of arms/portrait combo was actually £7,000 more than he had originally admitted, bringing the total up to a whopping £44,000.  

Apparently, a £5,400 bill for the ‘patent and design’ of the coat of arms by the College of Arms was overlooked, while a £1,600 cost for ‘preparation of the panelled area for the coat of arms to be displayed’ was also missed out.

The coat of arms, which is supposed to tell the story of Bercow’s ‘journey’ from humble beginnings to Speaker, features (among other things) a ladder (that’s the journey upwards), a pair of curved seaxes to represent Essex (where Bercow went to university) and four roundels – symbolising his love of tennis, natch. Its motto, ‘All Are Equal’, is also separated by four pink triangles, representing his role championing gay rights. Which is all very laudable – but probably won’t do much to placate the angry mob…

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