Representative Image Charly TRIBALLEAU/AFP

The UK government was busy ensuring its guests had the finest wines at reasonable prices when common Britons were struggling with COVID-19, per a recent report by the Foreign Office.

It has been revealed that the government used 1,433 bottles of wine and spirits from its cellars between 2020 and 2022. This was done to "provide guests of the government, from home and overseas, with wines of appropriate quality at reasonable cost".

The government spent more than £100,000, with nearly £27,000 of taxpayers' money, on its wine cellar. The bi-annual report on the government's wine cellar was released on Thursday.

According to the figures provided in the report, the government spent £14,621 on purchasing 516 bottles of red Bordeaux wines at the height of the pandemic. It spent £12,356 on buying Welsh sparkling wines, including 180 magnums. It also purchased 8 bottles of gin, and four bottles each of whisky and liqueurs.

However, it also needs to be noted that the government's consumption of wine decreased by 96 per cent in 2020–21 as opposed to what it was before the pandemic.

"All events organised by Government Hospitality during this period were done so in strict accordance with Covid-19 restrictions," said Foreign Office Minister Andrew Mitchell.

Its findings have created social media outrage, with people demanding accountability from the government.

"Why is there a Government Cellar at all? If overseas dignitaries need to be entertained, isn't there a budget for this? Is the taxpayer just paying for MPs' alcohol? Evidence would suggest they don't need it," wrote a social media user.

"Zero sales were made in the 3 year period to March 2022 "due to Covid" yet 1,433 bottles were still consumed in the 2 years to March 2022," wrote another.

A user asked: "Who would have been drinking these bottles during Covid restrictions when Govt entertaining of visiting dignitaries must have been minimal?"

The report has created quite a trouble for the government, with Labour slamming the government for its spending on alcohol.

"For months, we have asked why the government was suppressing the publication of this report, and now we know the answer," said Shadow Attorney General, Emily Thornberry. The report was supposed to be published in early 2023; however, it kept getting delayed, per a report in The Guardian.

"While the rest of the country was facing Covid restrictions and a cost of living crisis, the government was getting through 1,433 bottles from its wine cellar, and replenishing the stocks with a net spend of more than £100,000 over the three years from 2019-22.

"They lived the high life at taxpayers' expense while the rest of the country struggled, and it will never be forgotten".