Cash for influence? 38 British MPs accepted over £60k in gifts from tobacco firms

Tobacco firms have gifted British MPs with lavish hospitality worth over £60,000 since 2010, an investigation reveals. Almost 50 percent of these MPs voted against plain tobacco packaging in 2015.

Thirty-eight MPs across
the UK have been treated to concert tickets, opera tickets,
tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show and passes to cricket Test
Matches, the investigation found. The MPs in question include 29
Conservatives, 8 Labour MPs and one independent.

The investigation, published Thursday by the British Medical
Journal, claims that 20 of the parliamentarians voted against
plain packaging on cigarettes and more than half represent
constituencies where smoking-related deaths exceed the UK
average.

Writing in the BMJ, journalist Jonathon Gournall said: “[T]he
extent to which the tobacco industry remains able to reach out
and influence parliamentarians
” remains relevant.

The extraordinary thing, perhaps, is just how many MPs seem
to think it is perfectly acceptable to accept such largesse from
an industry whose products kill so many of their constituents
every year,
” he added.

 

 

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