Game, set and match to Bercow as MPs' freebies are revealed

Written by Dods staff on 4 August 2017 in Diary

The Speaker bagged Wimbledon tickets worth more than £8,000.

MPs have enjoyed free trips to Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, Silverstone and Glastonbury in the last few months, the latest register of interests reveals.

While a number of MPs were treated to Wimbledon tickets, Commons Speaker John Bercow had the biggest advantage with two tickets to watch the women’s semi-finals in the Royal Box, worth a staggering £8,590.

The tickets were a gift from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. A spokeswoman for the Speaker said: “It is no secret that Mr Bercow is a keen tennis fan, and watches matches live if he has the opportunity. The value of any associated hospitality is declared, in full, to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, in strict accordance with the rules.”

Education secretary Justine Greening and local Tory MP Stephen Hammond also bagged tickets for the exclusive Royal Box at Wimbledon, while Labour deputy leader Tom Watson took a seat among the hoi polloi.

Other MPs were treated to different sporting freebies, with a number of Tories getting free tickets to the races.

Conservative MPs Caroline Nokes and Mims Davies both enjoyed trips to Royal Ascot, while their colleague Philip Davies romped home with three tickets to Royal Ascot worth a total of £1,400 as well as tickets for the races at Cheltenham and for the Coral Eclipse meeting.

Davies, who is a vocal supporter of the gambling industry, was given the tickets by Coral, William Hill and SkyBet.

Meanwhile Labour’s Richard Burden took pole position in the race to get tickets for the Grand Prix at Silverstone. The MP for Birmingham Northfield  - who is not to be confused with shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon – got two Grand Prix tickets worth over £1,000, the register shows.

And defence secretary Michael Fallon kept his end up with two tickets for the England v South Africa test match at Lords.

Having given two speeches on stage at Glastonbury, Jeremy Corbyn was one of a handful of MPs who bagged free tickets to Glastonbury. But the most expensive Glastonbury package went to Corbyn’s deputy, with Tom Watson treated to five tickets including hospitality from Live Nation, with a total of £2,445.

Also getting free tickets to Glastonbury Tory MPs Nigel Adams, Steve Brine and Damian Collins and Labour’s Lousie Haigh.



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