Political news

Arlene Foster enjoyed Wimbledon royal box hospitality

Arlene Foster and her husband watched Rafael Nadal play at Wimbledon 

DUP leader Arlene Foster and her husband joined I'm A Celebrity... presenter Declan Donnelly and fashion designer Stella McCartney at Wimbledon last summer to watch some of the world's leading tennis stars play on Centre Court.

The former first minister was among 74 guests invited to the royal box by the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The July 9 visit to the showpiece Wimbledon matches is declared in the assembly's register of interests.

According to Mrs Foster's entry, the estimated equivalent value of the tickets and hospitality for herself and her husband was £1,350.

The All England Club said invitations to the royal box are at the discretion of its chairman and management committee.

Read More: Arlene Foster's turbulent three years in the DUP's top job

"The appropriate government and parliamentary representatives are included when determining the guest list for the championships," a spokeswoman told The Irish News.

The DUP leader has been without office since the assembly collapsed almost two years ago.

A spokesman for the party said "The party leader attended the Wimbledon championships last year as a guest of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and watched Rafael Nadal playing Jiri Vesley in a fourth-round match.

"The visit was registered in the assembly's register of members interests on July 18 2018."

Reports from the time said those who also attended on July 9 included TV presenter Lisa Snowdon and Olympic rower Sir Matthew Pinsent.

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