MPs received £113,000 worth of free Euro 2020 and Wimbledon tickets
MPs received 258 sporting gifts in the last parliament, according to an exclusive analysis. Latest statements show that tickets with a combined total value of £278,786.02 have been accepted, with a large number of businesses linked to the gambling industry.
Sir Keir Starmer made headlines this week after being investigated for several failures to check in hospitality gifts at football matches on time. The Labor leader said he was “absolutely confident” he had not breached the code of conduct for MPs despite the investigation by the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards.
But Sir Keir apologized to watchdog Kathryn Stone “for the fact that administrative errors in his office led to a small number of late statements”, according to his spokesman. Sir Keir received a directors’ box for two at Crystal Palace worth £720 when they beat his club Arsenal 3-0 on April 4.
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It wasn’t recorded until May 5. He received four tickets to Watford against Arsenal, worth a total of £1,416, for their match on March 6. The donation was registered on May 6. Members must declare within 28 days any interest that could reasonably be considered to influence their actions.
However, the Labor leader is far from alone when it comes to getting free tickets for events, especially sports. The latest register of MPs’ financial interests, where all donations received by MPs are declared, contains 258 entries for sports tickets, according to an exclusive analysis by the Reach Data unit.
These tickets were worth a combined total of £278,786.02. The Euro 2020 Championships was the most popular event for which MPs received tickets. The register has 44 entries with a combined value of £93,317.41. Some £73,029.74 of that total came from companies linked to the gaming industry.
Club football, meanwhile, has 56 entries worth a total of £34,364.64. Horse racing was a particularly popular sport, with 38 entries worth a combined total of £36,706.00. There were 15 sets of tickets given out for the British Grand Prix with a combined value of £26,075.80. Wimbledon tickets were given away 17 times, with a total value of £20,582.40.
A total of £15,631.50 in cricket tickets were donated to MPs, along with £8,161.00 in Six Nations tickets, £8,050.00 in Open tickets, 15,429, £00 non-Six Nations rugby tickets, and £2,563.00 to rugby league matches.
Non-sporting events were also popular freebies for MPs. A total of 36 sets of tickets with a combined value of £40,254.00 were distributed for the Brit Awards. There were also £8,928.00 worth of BAFTA tickets and £2,476.00 worth of Ivor Novellos tickets.
Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson received the most free tickets of all who registered. Mr Robertson received 18 sets of tickets, with a combined value of £23,468.60. Philip Davies of Shipley received 11 sets of tickets worth an estimated £12,830.00.
Tatton’s Esther McVey received tickets for £9,794.00 according to the register, while Tracey Crouch (£9,758.00), Scott Benton (£9,358.00), Aaron Bell (£9,283.00), Sir Keir Starmer (£9,259.64), Nigel Adams (£8,037.14) and Greg Smith (£7,030.00), complete the top 10.
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