MPs Kick Back for Summer Enjoying Freebies for Concerts, Cricket and Wimbledon
Our elected officials haven’t let spending time in their constituencies get in the way of their summer plans, at least going by the latest update to the register of interests. Countless MPs enjoyed all expenses-paid freebies to the social events of the season, including Wimbledon, the Ashes and Glastonbury. Here are some of the more interesting examples:
- Jonathan Ashworth, Suella Braverman, Yasmin Qureshi and Greg Hands were amongst those taking free trips to the Ashes. Their visits alone were worth over £4,000.
- Rachel Reeves, Marsha de Cordova, Alok Sharma, Toby Perkins and Steve Brine (who in May was found in breach of lobbying rules) were amongst those with free trips to the tennis. Paul Scully and (North Sea Oil-Hating) Stephen Flynn were also in attendance at Wimbledon, courtesy of BP. Tickets for these MPs alone cost £8,300.
- At least nine MPs received £40,000 in paid-for Silverstone tickets. These included Lucy Powell, Karen Bradley, David Davis, Chris Grayling, Andrew Griffith, Andrea Leadsom and Priti Patel.
- Oliver Dowden enjoyed three trips to the opera, worth £1,800. He also received a freebie to Ascot, where he was joined by Theresa May.
- There are yet more names to add to the list of MPs skipping sitting days to visit Glasto – with over £17,000 in more free hospitality being registered for the music festival. Rosena Alin-Khan, Jonathan Reynolds, Steve Brine, Greg Clark and Abena Oppong-Asare were all there.
- These MPs weren’t alone in enjoying some gigs over the summer. Dehenna Davison, Pat McFadden and Liz Truss watched Bruce Springsteen. Paul Scully took a £1,100 ticket to see Billy Joel, Carolyn Harris watched Lionel Ritchie while Toby Perkins went to a Harry Styles concert. And fresh from losing his cabinet post, Nadhim Zahawi embraced the summertime sadness at a Lana Del Ray show.
Hospitality freebies aren’t the only perks enjoyed by our political elite caste. In addition to the lucrative second jobs, Liz Truss got £32,000 for attending a Dublin conference, Kwasi Kwarteng got £35,000 for two speaking arrangements, Alok Sharma lined up a £30,000 gig and Johnny Mercer bagged an additional £49,200 as a “broadcast fee for filming already undertaken”. Nice work, if you can get it…