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The Independent

Cupboard minister defends lavish state banquet at time of austerity

A Cupboard minister has defended the lavish banquet laid on as a part of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state go to to the UK at a time of hardship for hundreds of thousands of Britons.

Buckingham Palace company dined on grilled brill – a fragile flat fish – adopted by pheasant from the Windsor property and, for dessert, iced vanilla parfait with caramelised apples.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride stated the go to will assist increase commerce and rising the economic system is the prize which issues – “whether or not it’s pheasant on the plate or pie and mash”.

The King hosted the banquet, saying “welcome” in six languages spoken in South Africa to Mr Ramaphosa.

Strictly star Johannes Radebe, initially from South Africa, was among the many 163 company on the white-tie dinner, becoming a member of broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, inside designer Kelly Hoppen and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh.

Mr Stride informed LBC: “Proper on the coronary heart, truly, of our gentle energy, because it’s usually referred to as, is that this means to challenge our sense of historical past and pageant.”

Requested in regards to the timing, with individuals fighting the price of residing, Mr Stride stated: “I might see it by way of participating with our most essential buying and selling accomplice on the continent of Africa, with whom we’ve got essential ties of historical past and commerce and economics.

“What actually we wish to come out of this can be a stronger and more healthy UK economic system – and that advantages everyone.

“I believe, whether or not it’s pheasant on the plate or pie and mash, I believe if that may be achieved, then that’s the largest prize.”

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