MPs have been given event tickets and hospitality worth more than £10,000 in November, with a gambling lobbyist, a gig economy firm and an arms manufacturer among those providing the donations.
The majority of the donations were received by Labour MPs, with Keir Starmer the main beneficiary, receiving six tickets with hospitality to two football matches, worth more than £2,700 in total.
Starmer is main beneficiary of ticket donations in November
The Labour leader attended two Arsenal matches, on 6 and 9 November, receiving six tickets and hospitality overall, with a total value of £2,730.
Four tickets to the Chelsea vs Arsenal match, worth £1,650, were provided by Jonathan Goldstein, an entrepreneur and co-owner of Chelsea alongside Todd Boehly. Both men are co-founders of the real estate investment firm Cain International. Tickets to watch Arsenal vs Brighton were provided directly by Arsenal football club.
Goldstein last donated to the Labour Party in August 2016, when he gave £30,000 to Owen Smith’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the party’s leader.
Controversial arms firm Elbit Systems paid for Conservative Jack Lopresti MP to attend the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association charity dinner on 1 November, at a cost of £330 for two tickets.
Elbit is an international arms manufacturer which supplies arms and technology to a range of clients, including the Israeli government. The firm has been subjected to a long-running campaign of protest and direct action in the UK by the Palestine Action group.
Since the campaigners began targeting the firm in 2020, Elbit has shut down a manufacturing facility in Oldham, sold off a UK subsidiary and shuttered its London headquarters.
Labour MP Marsha De Cordova was given two tickets with hospitality to the Tottenham vs Liverpool match on 6 November, worth £800, provided by gig economy delivery firm Getir, which is an official sponsor of Tottenham Hotspur.
Labour has previously been accused of ‘going soft’ on gig economy firms, after NationalWorld revealed that the party had received thousands in hospitality donations from Just Eat, and that Deliveroo had sponsored an event at the party conference.
Betting and Gaming Council
Industry lobbying group the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) provided four MPs with tickets to sporting events in November, worth a total of £2,559.
NationalWorld has previously reported how the BGC, which also employs a Conservative MP, has provided significant donations to a number of MPs, who in some cases have gone on to speak out against regulation of the industry in Parliament.
Conservative MP Chris Green and Labour MP Derek Twigg were both provided with two tickets and hospitality to the Rugby League World Cup Final on 19 November, each worth £829.50.
The BGC gave Alex Norris, another Labour MP, a ticket with hospitality to watch Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League, worth £300, while Conservative MP Ben Bradley was given two tickets to the same match, worth £600. Norris also registered a donation from the Betting and Gaming Council which he received back in April, to attend Brighton Racecourse, worth £202.
Labour’s Judith Cummins attended the Rugby League World Cup Wheelchair semi finals, and the men’s and women’s finals, with tickets provided directly by the world cup, worth £356 in total.
Shadow culture minister Lucy Powell also attended the Rugby League World Cup Finals, with two tickets and hospitality provided by the lottery operator Camelot. Powell was also given a ticket and hospitality to a Carabao Cup match, worth £420, provided by the English Football League.
Conservative Andy Carter and Labour MP Kim Leadbeater also received tickets to the Rugby League World Cup.