Leaving presents fit for Lord King

OFFICE leaving parties are a strange phenomenon. Awkward speeches, inappropriate presents, then down to the pub where, after having a few drinks too many, you finally tell your ex-colleagues what you really think of Sam from accounts.

Yet Bank of England governor Mervyn King – now Lord King – seems to have enjoyed a somewhat less typical departure when he left the position at the end of June.

No fewer than three events were held to mark his retirement from the central bank, including a £4,672 evening reception and a £3,450 dinner the following day. Enough to buy a round of 1,800 jagerbombs, incidentally.

Meanwhile, £13,000 was splashed on leaving presents, as revealed by the website MSN.com.

In keeping with tradition, Lord King received a £597 silver napkin ring (no, me neither...), and a £10,000 copy of a portrait of himself that the Bank commissioned to hang on its own walls.

And having thought long and hard about what else the departing boss might like, £2,505 went towards a bust of famous writer Johann von Goethe.

Luckily for lower-ranking staff at the Bank, a collection envelope was not passed around for contributions. Rather, the whole amount – more than £23,000 – was paid by the Bank.