I read your article (MPs enjoy free tickets worth £100k during Covid large event pilots, 30 Julie) with amazement. In my early years as an NHS consultant, I was the recipient of such freebies from big pharma and other medical industries, but by the time I retired (in the last century), such hospitality was rightly seen as corrupting and was banned. To see that for politicos of all shades it is today “within the rules” when “fully declared” indicates that the rules need urgent revision.
Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan
Politicians seem to be more remote from public opinion than ever. We talk about taking “freebies” – but these particular gifts were made in the context of a review of the gambling laws. Members of parliament are supposed to police gambling, not profit from it. The fact that an MP has declared a gift is irrelevant except that it indicates an ongoing contempt of the voters, which was exemplified by the expenses scandal.
This sort of thing (which seems to be habitual among both Labour and Tories) looks like corruption to me and should be treated as such, but first we need to find a way of bringing our representatives back into the real world that their voters inhabit.