The re-opening of 19 July was greeted with joy across the country and nowhere more so than in Westminster. The newly updated register of members’ interests show how MPs have been enjoying the restoration of their liberties as donations of gifts, directorships and various gigs flooded in. A total of £56,000 was recorded in hospitality by 42 MPs over recess – £46,000 of which was registered by 31 Tory MPs.
Kicking things off is the minister of state for Asia Nigel Adams who managed to bag tickets to three hotly contested Euro 2020 tickets worth some £6,038 to take his tournament total to £8,037. Good thing not much else was happening at the Foreign Office during that time. Stephen Kinnock, husband of former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, chose to watch the England v Denmark semi-final in the company of the Danish FA. Other eye-raising hospitality includes culture select committee chairman Julian Knight getting £454 for two tickets to Latitude festival. Was fellow festival lover David Cameron his plus one?
One generous donor was the Embassy of the State of Qatar which, in conjunction with the Qatar Ministry of Sports and Culture, stumped up for four MPs including Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to go to Goodwood racing festival. In total Hoyle, David Amess, Nigel Evans and Laurence Robertson received £3,750 worth of hospitality, accommodation and dinner – somewhat awkward given the criticism of the regime’s record on human rights with some MPs suggesting a boycott of next year’s football World Cup there.
Interesting appointments include Liam Fox being appointed as the UK chair of the newly re-launched Conservative Friends of America, which Companies House records show was incorporated at the beginning of June. Next month of course will mark the tenth anniversary of the dissolution of Fox’s Atlantic Bridge – a charity set up to promote transatlantic relations. Gareth