Gifts, earnings and outside interests: all are in the news this week thanks to an interactive tracker unveiled by Sky News and Tortoise. One of the headline revelations is that Theresa May earned £107,600 speech for a speech she delivered in Saudi Arabia in November – a country she blocked ministers and officials from visiting temporarily while she was prime minister following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
But there’s a belated Christmas gift for those MPs who feel left out by some of their colleagues coining it in. For a number of Fortnum and Mason hampers have turned up this week at the Houses of Parliament to greet MPs and their staff, returning from their festive break. Inside is a message which reads: ‘Happy Holidays from Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.’
A spokesman for the Commons declined to say how many MPs have received the hampers; the Saudi Embassy has also been contacted for comment. The unsolicited gifts in question are Fortnum’s £140 ‘express hamper’ which boasts ‘teas and coffees for sipping; biscuits for nibbling; preserves and condiments for spreading, and even more deliciousness ready to enjoy.’
What better way to start the new year?