Reports that MPs have doubled their alcohol consumption over the past year have been wildly exaggerated, according to insiders.
Teetotal Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor slammed MPs' drinking habits after reports that Commons' beer orders have doubled since last October.
Sir Teddy claimed that young MPs who felt excluded from the democratic process by the large government majority were spending their time in Commons bars rather than the debating chamber.
The Southend MP said: "It is very sad and the start of a great tragedy. This is a grim sign of what is rather a dramatic change in the Westminster lifestyle."
In fact, the report was based on a rise in deliveries by the Federation Brewery, which for many years has been the main beer supplier to the Houses of Parliament but has this year taken on deliveries for other suppliers, including Carlsberg-Tetley.
Robert Humphreys, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, said: "Delivering to the Palace of Westminster can be a nightmare, so it's no surprise that many suppliers have handed the job over to Federation Brewery. I'd be amazed if there has been anything like the increase that has been quoted in the media."
Previously, Sir Teddy has campaigned for the Palace of Westminster to be declared an alcohol-free zone and called for bars to be turned into MPs' offices.