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U.S. Embassy in London auctions diplomatic desks, toilet rolls

The diplomatic clear out follows the move to a new $1 billion building

LONDON — Never say the State Department doesn’t look after your tax dollar.

The U.S. Embassy in London, which recently moved to a new $1 billion glass cube overlooking the River Thames, is holding an online auction of surplus items otherwise destined for the trash tip.

Bidders have until Aug. 8 to secure up to 40 lots, but anyone hoping to own a prestigious piece of embassy history may be disappointed.

Items on sale include plastic stacking chairs, broken vacuum cleaners, a scratched coffee table … and 1,200 toilet rolls.

The old U.S. Embassy building in London's Mayfair district.Alastair Grant / AP file

The unusual clear out follows the diplomats’ departure from their old building, a modernist 1950s block in Mayfair.

The switch was lamented by President Donald Trump, who blamed the Obama administration for selling the old building for "peanuts." (The relocation was initiated under the George W. Bush administration in early 2008 amid wider security concerns after terror attacks such as the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.)

Items up for grabs in the London auction range from a 2007 diplomatic Volvo S80 (bid price $8,395) to a scrap-ready office copier ($72). The toilet rolls, sold as a single lot, cost $199.

If none of that appeals, the U.S. Embassy in Armenia is planning to sell two used rugs (“dirty with stains”) for $20 each.