A right-wing Tory MP has received more than £36,000 in free foreign travel in the last twelve months, Political Scrapbook can reveal. Controversial backbencher Andrew Rosindell clocked up the air miles across seven trips paid for by third parties — including a first class junket to the Caribbean worth £13,600.
The Romford MPs recent itinerary has also included other exotic destinations such as the Cayman Islands (£5,745), Taiwan (£3,805), Lebanon (£1,289), Qatar (£5,000) Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (£4,375). He even took his sister on a “parliamentary” Summer trip to Guernsey, with accomodation, food and entertainment coming to £1,063. Fortunately for Rosindell, the vast majority of his trips since 2001 trips were undertaken before rules on financial disclosure were introduced.
As a member of a whopping 60 all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) associated with overseas territories, the Romford MP regularly accepts invitations to free junkets by foreign governments, businesses and organisations. But it seems to Scrapbook that Rosindell’s presence on a country group bears some relation to its average temperature and distance from the UK.
And this is not the first time overseas trips have had Rosindell in hot water. He came under fire after a trip to Gibraltar in September 2008 was not registered until April 2009 — failing to declare interests when tabling parliamentary questions and even when securing a debate on Gibraltar.
Having touched down on numerous continents, we trust his chairmanship of the Polar Regions APPG will help him complete the set.