Girls and Boys for Members of Parliament
How British MPs go on a spree with prostitutes on official trips abroad
Esther Webber, Christina Gallardo
Many British MPs use official overseas travel for sex tourism, writes Politico. Drunkenness, a request to organize receptions with “young girls and boys” and a boorish attitude towards the host have already become the norm of official visits.
Several British MPs and diplomats accused of inappropriate behavior and drunkenness during parliamentary visits
LONDON – A number of British lawmakers have used official parliamentary travel abroad as an opportunity to surreptitiously obtain sex and rampant alcohol abuse, according to many UK MPs, diplomatic and parliamentary officials who have spoken to POLITICO.
According to one MP, the former Conservative MP and now a member of the House of Lords, during one of his overseas trips to Southeast Asia in the Cross-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), first asked his hosts how to get to the nearest brothel.
Another Conservative MP and former cabinet minister usually stayed in the visited country after the delegation of MPs returned home to develop his “relationships with local women,” two of his former colleagues said.
“He showed interest in pretty young girls,” said one of them. “And he usually stayed after these official visits and contacted young women in the country he was visiting.”
According to a foreign diplomat, one senior Labor MP showed sympathy for “Russian girls” during his trips abroad, and local authorities felt powerless to intervene because they were worried about maintaining their authority in Westminster.
Of particular concern are the activities of “territorial APPG” – cross-party groups of “backbenchers” (Eng. backbencher – ordinary members of Parliament; the origin of the term is associated with the place (benches in the back rows) where such members of Parliament usually sit. – Approx. InoSMI), consisting of deputies and parliamentary officials dealing with one country or a group of countries. Such groups are subject to less strict rules than the better-known House of Commons Select Committees, but may use Parliamentary premises for their meetings. The involvement of these groups in the development of relations with foreign countries means that they usually make regular trips abroad, financed by foreign governments or private companies, often during the current sessions of parliament.
As part of an ongoing investigation, POLITICO has spoken to more than a dozen government officials and lawmakers in the UK and abroad who have confirmed allegations of outrageous, obscene or sexually suggestive behavior by some MPs during such trips.
Many MPs argued that while some of their colleagues showed a sincere and legitimate interest in relations with the countries they visited, others treated the trips as “pleasure” and used them mainly for recreational purposes.
In our conversations, the topic of the attitude of MPs towards the British Overseas Territories (14 territories under the sovereignty of Great Britain, but not being part of it. – Approx. InoSMI) constantly arose: local officials told POLITICO that some British MPs in such countries took part in parties , organized by diplomatic missions, to which young men and women were “delivered” to them in order to participate in sexual entertainment.
According to the same local officials, some MPs often actively asked foreign governments in the British Commonwealth for a wholly-paid trip abroad, sometimes going so far as to make demands for champagne and copious meals.
One of them said that foreign representatives have become wary of such British approaches, and some have even resorted to putting as many visits and meetings on the MPs’ agenda as possible in order to reduce “free time” for potential misconduct. “disappointment began to appear,” they add.
A former British MP said the government of a British Overseas Territory was “deeply disappointed” by the behavior of visiting British MPs “who think they are celebrities who are always at gala dinners – they drink and behave badly and arrogantly. They are arrogant towards their local colleagues “politicians, not to mention those around them, the hosts and, unfortunately, waiters. Often it just comes down to rudeness.”
The APPG is allowed to use the UK Parliament’s meeting rooms and a dedicated logo, but they are not official parliamentary bodies and are not largely controlled by Parliament.
Unlike ad hoc committees, they do not have a formal system for deciding MP membership and usually do not have dedicated staff unless provided by an outside body such as a private company or charity.
MPs are not paid for their participation in APPG, and trips made by MPs as part of APPG activities must be entered in the “register of interests”. However, these trips are not subject to any formal reporting.
One female member of APPG, which works in several countries, said that the groups have traditionally been dominated by “backbenchers” from Labor and the Conservatives, who coordinate with each other. Usually it is men who control the process, seeking trips to pleasant places.
She added that while the gender balance in APPG groups has improved over the past decade, many of them still carry a legacy of “collusion” between like-minded people: male MPs.
A House of Commons Standards Committee report released earlier this year warned that the potential for undue influence provided by APPG could “lead to another big parliamentary row,” but did not comment on foreign travel in detail.
news.ru, 12/30/2022, “Members of the UK Parliament are at the center of a sex scandal”: UK MPs suspected of dealing with sex workers during foreign visits. About it writes the Times newspaper. According to the publication, parliamentarians were warned that such behavior poses a risk to them due to the threat of blackmail. — Inset K.ru
The Standards Committee recommended reducing the number of APPGs and introducing a “watchdog” to oversee them. The government announced its broad support for these proposals shortly before Boris Johnson left office, but there has been no movement since.
According to one witness, a former powerful Conservative MP got him sexual favors during a visit to China, which other MPs jokingly referred to as “delivering flowers to the room” until the very end of the trip.
On another visit by an APPG delegation to a neighboring European country, three MPs failed to show up for a breakfast meeting hosted by the embassy after drinking heavily the night before. On the same trip, a Conservative MP raised his voice at a member of the embassy’s diplomatic staff in a lengthy, insulting tirade.
Last month, former Labor MP Christian Matheson was forced to resign after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him. A former employee of his headquarters claimed that he invited her on a secret trip to Gibraltar, which, as an independent commission on the conduct of deputies, had sexual motives. Matheson has denied the claims made against him and there is no suggestion that he committed any other improper act apart from the charges brought against him.
Gibraltar has been at the center of previous allegations of misconduct after two opposition MPs were accused of being heavily intoxicated during a visit organized by the Armed Forces Parliamentary Liaison Program. They dismissed the claims as “Tory slander”.