Tory MP Philip Davies was the clear leader of a group of MPs exposed in a recent Private Eye article, for accepting freebie hospitality trips from the bookies. Caroline Nokes, another Tory MP and John Mann, Jim Dowd, Justin Madders and Toby Perkins from the Labour Party all accepted around £500/600 in freebies from the lobbying bookies, but Davies beat them all with £3,000 of freebies.
What makes Davies, who besides having a bit of a problem with women, is anti-gay marriage and thinks disabled people should work for less, so popular and valuable to the bookmakers? He’s the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Betting and Gaming Group.
This is a group that produces glossy brochures after inviting bookmakers and their cohorts to make speeches. Those speakers include bookmaker trade chief, Malcolm George, who took exception to a article about his pants being on fire. Did Schillings, the bookie’s lawyers, set off a fire extinguisher? If so, why are Mr George’s pants still burning strongly?
No-one who opposes bookies’ FOBTs (the high-stake, high-speed roulette machines) is ever invited to speak by Davies. As a result, Parliamentarians get a bookie-biased briefing organised by a man who gets a raft of freebies from them! This financial interest was not disclosed in a glossy brochure that he sent to the Parliamentarians.
Whether or not the Tories suspend Mr Davies for his “feminist zealot” views, he should be suspended for financial interest and non-disclosure.
Davies has no shame where he takes his freebies from and has a lot of form with the bookies, but other MPs should be wondering why the bookies are now so keen to “freebie” them!
Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTs