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No 10 will not reveal PM's private guests

DOWNING Street has dug its heels in and refused to say just how many private guests David Cameron has entertained at Chequers.

Last Friday evening, No 10 released details of visitors invited on official government business to the Prime Minister's country retreat.

The Chequers list included ministers, MPs and journalists as well as Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, and Sir Peter Bazalgette, the Arts Council England chief and former boss of Big Brother producers Endemol.

But the caveat was added: "It does not include those receiving hospitality paid for personally by the Prime Minister or by the Conservative Party at political events, such as MPs, where there is no cost to the taxpayer." Critics have demanded, in the spirit of full transparency and given Chequers is owned by the taxpayer, that the full list of guests, who are thought could possibly include lobbyists and Tory Party donors, be published.

Mr Cameron's spokesman explained everyone accepted the difference between government and party business and that this approach had been adopted for some considerable time .

Asked if the non-disclosure was in line with the PM's declaration that the Coalition was the most transparent government, he replied: "We are setting out the information we said we would and that relates to government information."

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