None of the cost of the official gift to President Bush was included in the cost of gifts in the letter of 16 May to my hon. Friend from my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Margaret Beckett). The letter contained details of the cost of gifts presented by their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during the visit to the USA in January 2007. The official gift of a book written by Sir Winston Churchill was presented to President Bush during the visit in November 2005. The book was purchased by the Household of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. In line with normal practice the cost was reimbursed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as sponsoring Department.
Gifts are selected by the Royal Household under guidelines set by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The first reference to Michael Fawcett in this context was in my hon. Friend’s parliamentary question (UIN 26865) that was answered by my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) on 17 November 2005, Official Report, column 1492W.