Bryant’s Undeclared Billionaire’s Bung

Section 72 of the Common’s Declaration of Members’ Interests states that “any relevant financial interest or benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, should be declared in debate, or other proceeding.” Section 74 says that it “is the responsibility of the Member, having regard to the rules of the House, to judge whether a financial interest is sufficiently relevant to a particular debate, proceeding, meeting or other activity to require a declaration.”

As head of the All Party Group on Russia you should would expect Chris Bryant to raise Russian issues more than most, and he has been one of the most vocal Putin critics. He even testified against Hancock’s suspected spy lover.

However since October Bryant has declared nearly £14,000 in payments from the Independent newspaper owned by Russian oligarch and fellow Putin critic, Alexander Lebedev. Since the billionaire signed Chris up, he has mentioned Russia on dozens of occasions in the House without a single declaration required in the rules above. Given his ongoing quest for strict probity in public office, it’s odd that he hasn’t mentioned this…

Bryant argued to Guido that the Indy is technically owned by a British citizen (Lebedev Jr,) but this is extremely disingenuous given that bachelor Evgeny only recently got British citizenship. A technicality that doesn’t alter the fact that Bryant is paid thousands by a Russian with political pretensions and ambitions…




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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