MPs greeted by sex workers during trip abroad as concerns grow over risk of blackmail – ‘Quite astonishing’
Fears of blackmail raised following claims that MPs were met by sex workers on a foreign trip
Concerns have been raised over politicians leaving themselves vulnerable to blackmail following claims that British MPs were met by sex workers inside their hotel on a foreign trip.
The MPs were reportedly part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – an unofficial cross-party body of MPs and peers – on a trip to a dictatorship.
Some senior government figures fear that MPs and peers are engaging in “sex and heavy drinking” on foreign visits and this evidence could be used as blackmail.
There is no suggestion that the MPs knew the sex workers would be there or that they used their services, but the claim has fuelled further questions about the purpose of the APPGs.
Previously concerns have been raised about the lack of controls on APPGs while many use Parliament for functions, they are not official groups like select committees.
According to a report in The Times, on one visit to a major British ally, an MP was told off for repeatedly propositioning young female interns helping to organise the tour.
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There are in the excess of 700 APPGs with more than 130 focusing on specific countries which often arrange all-expenses paid group trips.
One senior government source told The Times: “The bad behaviour is quite astonishing.
“If a hostile state is lucky they may get photos and they will make sure they know exactly what has happened. And then they might get something from that.”
Another source complained that MPs visiting authoritarian countries were being used to convince citizens that their leader was a “world statesman with international friends” rather than a pariah.
Earlier this month, an investigation by Politico revealed a litany of allegations about misconduct by MPs relating to foreign trips.
The report claimed that one diplomat stayed on after an official trip to pursue his “interest in women” while another MP asked where the nearest brothel was during a trip to southeast Asia.
MPs have defended APPG trips as “valuable” work as backbenchers, but the Commons standards committee have called for tighter regulation including more transparency on funding and rules.
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