London, July 23 : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has refused to accept a leather jacket gifted to him by US President George W Bush.
Bush presented the bomber jacket to Brown during their first talks as fellow leaders. The jacket is not only emblazoned with the presidential logo, but also features Brown's name on it.
However, Brown's decision to reject the personalised gift was in tune with the list of gifts received by ministers on their official meetings. The list of gifts received by government ministers in the last year, which they are required to declare if the value is estimated at more than 140 pounds, shows that Brown purposely did not exercise the option of keeping the presidential present.
By rule, ministers can only retain gifts received in the course of their ministerial duties if they recompense the public purse to the appropriate value.
The gift of a "leather holdall / clothing" given to Brown by George Bush on his first trip to the United States as Prime Minister is said to have been "held by the department," reports The Telegraph.
Unlike former Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair, who preferred to purchase all the presidential gifts, Brown did not accept a single gift, turning down, among other items, a commemorative coin from the prime minister of Ethiopia, a stone bowl from the president of Afghanistan and a rug from the president of Pakistan.
In fact, the new Prime Minister even passed the perishable items given to him on to charity or into the Government's wine cellars. They included a hamper from the Sultan of Brunei and wine from the French president.