Barry Gardiner Escapes China Questioning on Politics Live

A lucky escape for Barry Gardiner on Politics Live this afternoon, with host Jo Coburn asking everyone on the panel to give their views on China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy at the end of the show – everyone, that is, apart from Barry…

Given Beijing Barry was found to have accepted £500,000 in donations from a Chinese spy, Guido would have thought it was an opportune time to ask Barry if he thinks the country’s barbaric Covid lockdown policy is a smart idea, and likewise, whether it was wise to accept so much cash from a CCP operative. Perhaps a chance to clear the air…

Not so. Instead, he sat quietly in his chair as Coburn gave the floor to every other guest before hastily announcing it was time to wrap up. Saved by the bell…

mdi-timer 28 April 2022 @ 14:47 28 Apr 2022 @ 14:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Game Over for Tencent-Backed Parliamentary Events

Westminster Games Week, originally set to begin on Monday, has been postponed indefinitely after sponsoring MPs Christian Wakeford and Jonathan Gullis withdrew their involvement following Guido’s story on Tencent, the Chinese tech giant slated to co-sponsor the event. Game over…

Tencent’s sponsorship immediately raised eyebrows when Guido pointed out how, back in October, 117 MPs signed a petition calling for Parliament’s pension pot to disinvest from Chinese companies accused of “being complicit in human rights violations“. The petition specifically accused Tencent of

regularly collaborat[ing] with the Chinese state in maintaining internet censorship through the “Great Firewall” and [providing] the Government with surveillance patents for software which has been put to use against the Uyghurs.” 

The idea that, just 5 months later, Tencent banners would be hoisted in Parliament in front of these same MPs was obviously ridiculous…

Ukie, the UK gaming trade body that organised Westminster Games Week, quietly announced it had pulled the plug on their website today:

Westminster Games Week, which was due to take place on Monday 28th March to Wednesday 30th March, has been postponed. We will be confirming new dates for the event shortly. We apologise for the inconvenience but we look forward to seeing our partners and attendees in Westminster later this year.”

Iain Duncan Smith, co-chair of the International Interparliamentary Alliance on China, tells Guido “I welcome this decision. Tencent serves the oppressive Chinese regime that is committing genocide and as such should not be welcome here in Parliament.” 

Hopefully later this year Westminster Games Week won’t feature Tencent… they would have got away with it if it weren’t for pesky Guido…

mdi-timer 24 March 2022 @ 13:17 24 Mar 2022 @ 13:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gullis Pulls Out of Tencent Parliamentary Event

Jonathan Gullis is the second MP to pull out of his scheduled event at Westminster Games Week next week, claiming he was “unaware” of Tencent’s involvement and condemning their affiliation with the event. Which raises the question, will any of Tencent’s parliamentary events go ahead?

In a statement to Guido this afternoon, Gullis said:

“I am appalled to hear about the involvement of Tencent. At no point was I aware that Tencent had any involvement in the event. I have therefore withdrawn my support for the event with immediate effect.

“In partnership with UKIE, the industry body, I had agreed to sponsor an event in Parliament for Westminster Games Week. UKIE promotes the video gaming industry in the U.K., which Stoke-on-Trent is a growing part of.”

While Wakeford and Gullis may have distanced themselves from Tencent’s involvement, Westminster Games Week is still scheduled to go ahead next Wednesday. Sponsored by a company which 117 MPs specifically condemned just 5 months ago…

mdi-timer 22 March 2022 @ 15:19 22 Mar 2022 @ 15:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jonathan Gullis Still Set to Appear at Tencent Event Despite MPs’ Condemnation

Yesterday Labour MP Christian Wakeford announced he was pulling out of hosting an event next week on behalf of Tencent, after Guido pointed out 117 MPs had signed a petition condemning the Chinese tech giant for suspected ties to the Beijing government. Wakeford claimed he had never heard of the company, and called on all MPs to stand against human rights abuses in China. It turns out Wakeford isn’t the only one with some explaining to do…

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis is also scheduled to host an event next week on levelling up, with Tencent labelled as a main sponsor. The timing of the event hasn’t yet been announced, although a source tells Guido the event is still, at the moment, set to go ahead. Gullis is also still advertised on Westminster Gaming Week’s website:

Guido has repeatedly approached Gullis for comment…

UPDATE: Gullis has pulled out of the event.

mdi-timer 22 March 2022 @ 13:33 22 Mar 2022 @ 13:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Wakeford Pulls Out of Hosting Tencent Event, Encourages MPs to Stand Up for Uyghurs

Christian Wakeford has announced he’s pulling out of hosting an event next week on behalf of Tencent, following Guido’s story earlier today about the Chinese tech firm’s links to the Beijing government. In a statement released this afternoon, Wakeford said he’d “never heard of” the company and would no longer take part in the discussion:

“I was asked to host an event as part of my role as Vice Chair for the APPG for Video Games. I hadn’t heard of, nor been made aware of this company and have since pulled out of the event. I stand with colleagues against human rights abuses against the Uighur in China & would urge all colleagues to do the same.”

Of course, Tencent are still a leading sponsor for all the gaming fun in Parliament next week, even without Wakeford’s involvement. Guido has contacted Ukie, the trade group organising Westminster Gaming Week, for comment…

mdi-timer 21 March 2022 @ 16:12 21 Mar 2022 @ 16:12 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliament Hosting Chinese Tech Giant Tencent’s Event, Despite MPs Accusing Firm Over Uyghur Surveillance

Next week is ‘Westminster Games Week’, which according to the website, “will bring the games industry directly to the doorstep of key MPs, officials, and other parliamentarians across a series of interactive events.” It will also bring one of its leading sponsors, Tencent, directly into the corridors of Westminster. A Chinese tech conglomerate with a long history of ties to the Beijing government…

Back in October, 117 MPs across the House – including Labour’s Lisa Nandy, Chris Bryant, Dawn Butler and Jess Philips – signed a petition calling for Parliament’s pension pot to disinvest from Chinese companies accused of “being complicit in human rights violations“. Here’s what that letter had to say about Tencent:

“…Tencent regularly collaborate with the Chinese state in maintaining internet censorship through the “Great Firewall” and have provided the Government with surveillance patents for software which has been put to use against the Uyghurs.”

Despite this, and the Christine Lee spy scandal rocking SW1 only two months ago, Tencent are proudly advertised as a ‘showcasing sponsor’ for several events in Parliament next week. If parliamentarians are free next Wednesday, they can drop by the ‘interactive showcase‘ in PCH at 1.30pm. If that doesn’t work, Labour MP Christian Wakeford is hosting an event on Tencent’s behalf in the Terrace Dining Room:

Five months on from the petition, and Tencent are ‘directly [on] the doorstep’ of the same MPs who accused them of collaborating with the Chinese government. Although in Wakeford’s defence, he never actually signed the petition…

mdi-timer 21 March 2022 @ 13:58 21 Mar 2022 @ 13:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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