UK & World News
Foreign Freebies: MPs Criticised Over Trips
MPs have been criticised for making hundreds of "freebie" overseas visits to exotic locations worth £1.5m in the last two years.
Foreign governments, pressure groups and private companies funded the variety of excursions for backbenchers.
The Independent newspaper found a number of MPs had accepted trips abroad and then made supportive speeches about the countries in Parliament.
Around 242 MPs declared "fact-finding missions" - with visits worth £6,500 on average.
The anger over MP Nadine Dorries' decision to take a month off to take part in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! has once again put the focus on ministers taking time out from Parliament.
One in five Conservative backbenchers were taken on trips to Israel and Palestine, mainly on visits paid for by pro-Israeli lobbying groups.
Former foreign secretary David Miliband was one of the highest-claiming MPs, taking 14 overseas trips costing £47,600 since losing out on the Labour leadership to his brother Ed, it was reported.
While 36 visits were made to China and Hong Kong, 23 trips to India and 34 to the US only one MP accepted a trip to Afghanistan.
Two were recorded visiting Belgium.
Tamasin Cave of the transparency group Spinwatch, told The Independent: "MPs do need knowledge of other countries but the list of states that feel the need to court politicians includes many with dubious reputations. This is not a new game.
"London-based PR firms have for years laundered the reputations of countries with dreadful human rights records, but MPs should not be drawn into this.
"Let's hope they spend as much time talking to pro-democracy and opposition groups from those countries."
what do you think?
To be fair, if foreign governments pay, who gives a damn ? At least they are not " do gooding " around here.
Edgar, I give a damn because these mp's are elected by the people, and money is influencing how they do their job or not do it as the case may be.
Every time the real scroungers are caught with their hands in the till or feathering their nests they promise not to do it again - until they get caught on some other scam. These are people who are supporting cuts for everyone else, but readies for them.
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I dont believe this of you lot at all. Nice tan you got. Out of a bottle?
Must have been going overseas checking their offshore tax free bank accounts eh?
The whole Parliamentry system is rotten to the core but im afraid the chances of changing it are zero.
agree with first part, but your second part where you say chances of change are zero is wrong, cause the most powerful force in politics is people power, never forget that
You`re probably correct Nigel. Not long ago Italy`s political party set up collapsed but it didn`t make much difference, they are still as corrupt as ever.
why were characters like Jesus and Muhammad so popular; it because what they preached they followed. since their time people in religion, governments, monarchy and corporations have totally abused their status. hence why society has no trust for the aforementioned. and anarchy will be around the corner trust me. internet is making people real clued up.
Were these perchance the same MPs who recently criticised the huge payoffs given to BBC employeeson leaving the Corporation??. Will they now criticise themselves??, don't hold your breath................