Transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy has been urged to publish the names of those he entertains on expenses after it emerged fare-payers are picking up the tab for expensive wines and generous tips.
As previously reported, between July and September last year Sir Peter charged taxpayers more than £1,200 for lunches and meals.
Receipts since provided to MayorWatch under Freedom of Information laws reveal that this sum includes meals at the exclusive members-only Groucho Club where fare-payers treated Sir Peter and guests to bottles of wine costing up to £44 each.
Generous Londoners, who this month saw the cost of their fares increase by up to 38%, also splashed out £45 for a bottle of Mas La Mola at the Ember Yard restaurant in Berwick Street where Sir Peter’s party enjoyed a £32.50 leg of lamb.
With vegetables, side dishes and tips the night out cost taxpayers £156.81, including around £90 on alcohol.
Other culinary treats paid for out of public funds include a serving of oysters at Le Boudin Blanc and a £41 bottle of Pouilly-Fumé.
While on some occasions the commissioner contributed towards the cost of the alcohol ordered, taxpayers have on other evenings covered the entire cost as well as service charges and generous tips for staff.
Unlike at City Hall, Transport for London’s expenses disclosures for senior staff do not list the names of those benefitting from publicly-funded hospitality.
London Assembly Member Darren Johnson says this should change and has called on TfL to routinely reveal who fare-payers are wining and dining.
Mr Johnson said: “We, as taxpayers and fare-payers should be told who we are paying for.
“I’ve no desire to stop Peter Hendy from working late into the evening and meeting important people who can help improve London’s transport system, but when the tips alone are more than the cost of a daily travel card then Londoner’s want the reassurance that real business is being done.”