London, Jan 19 (ANI): Barely a month after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair took charge, his wife Cherie tried to buy a luxury 3,500-pound bed for the family's Downing Street apartment using the taxpayers' money.
According to Blair's former spin doctor Alastair Campbell, the Blairs agreed to pay for it themselves only after details of the king-size Swedish-built bed emerged in the newspapers, reports the Daily Mail.
The revelation emerged from the latest instalment of diaries by Campbell, which covers the first two years of the Labour Government.
In 'Power And The People', Campbell also reveals that he could not bring himself to tell Blair he thought Cherie had 'a problem with money'.
The 6ft by 6ft 7in bed frame cost 2,502 pounds and the mattress 970 pounds, according to newspaper reports at that time.
Campbell described how the Blairs bought the bed for their Downing Street flat, and hostile newspaper coverage prompted them to agree to pay the bill.
"TB [Tony Blair] was in a fury over the story about their new £3,500 bed, which was on the front page of The Sun. Following her shopping in New York, there was a touch of the Imeldas [Imelda Marcos, extravagant former 'first lady' of the Philippines] about the coverage surrounding CB [Cherie Blair]," Campbell wrote in June 1997.
"He knew nothing about it, was livid and said he would pay for it himself. It was only then I realised it was meant to be paid for out of public money," he said.
"CB then called and said on the basis of this, they could not possibly spend any money doing up the kitchen as planned, or anything else. Later it emerged, to nobody's surprise, that Carole Caplin had bought the bed," he added.
Caplin was Cherie's controversial style adviser. (ANI)