Wimbledon, Silverstone and Ed Sheeran tickets: MPs given £110k worth of hospitality so far this summer

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Sir Keir Starmer, Nadhim Zahawi and Matt Hancock were among those to receive exclusive tickets to sporting events and concerts, including Ed Sheeran and Adele

While the public has been struggling this summer with an escalating cost of living crisis, MPs have received more than £110,000 worth of hospitality in June and July alone.

Dozens of MPs have benefitted from free tickets to see artists such as Ed Sheeran and Adele in concert, plus hospitality to sporting events like the Silverstone Grand Prix, Royal Ascot and Wimbledon.

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How many MPs have been given free tickets so far this summer?

Around one in eight MPs have registered tickets or hospitality in June and July, with some attending several events during that period.

A total of 115 separate packages of tickets and/or hospitality worth £113,376 were recorded by MPs in the two most recent entries in the register of members’ financial interests, covering the two summer months.

Thirteen MPs were provided at least one ticket to Wimbledon, with many receiving multiple tickets and hospitality packages.

Labour leader Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves were among those in attendance, with tickets provided by professional tennis bodies in both cases.

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Oil company BP provided tickets to Conservative MPs Mike Freer and Stephen Crabb.

Photo: Kim Mogg/NationalWorld

Campaigners have previously raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest arising from private firms and lobbying organisations providing tickets to MPs, many of which are often for highly sought-after and exclusive events.

Among those who’ve received valuable tickets and hospitality gifts are former Conservative leadership hopefuls Nadhim Zahawi and Kemi Badenoch, plus other senior Tories including Ben Wallace and Theresa May.

Mr Zahawi was provided with four tickets to a Billie Eilish concert on 23 June, courtesy of Universal Music, and three VIP tickets with hospitality to see Adele live 2 July provided by Sony Music, with a combined value of £1,782.

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Mr Zahawi was one of five MPs to be given tickets to see Adele, including his Conservative colleagues Matt Hancock and Craig Whittaker, as well as Mr Starmer and Ms Reeves.

Mr Whittaker’s ticket, worth £1,794 including hospitality, was provided by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a lobbying organisation for the gambling industry which has been previously criticised by gambling harm campaigners.

The BGC also gave Mr Whittaker and four other MPs tickets to see Ed Sheeran, worth an average of almost £900 each, and provided four other MPs with tickets and hospitality to a variety of events, including test cricket matches and Wimbledon.

Which MPs have received the most free tickets and hospitality?

Former Northern Ireland minister Karen Bradley received hospitality worth a combined total of £5,232, more than any other MP during this period.

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Ms Bradley was given two tickets with hospitality for the Grand Prix at Silverstone on 3 July, worth £3,108.

The Conservative MP was also given two tickets to an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) in June, worth £624, and six tickets with hospitality to a motorbike racing event at Donnington Park on 17 July, worth £1,500, provided by the firm which owns Donnington.

Photo: Kim Mogg

Conservative MPs Greg Smith and Henry Smith received hospitality worth £5,000 and £4,248 respectively.

Conservatives accounted for 56 of the 82 MPs who received tickets and hospitality during this period, while there were 23 Labour MPs, and one each for the SNP, DUP and Liberal Democrats.

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Labour’s Shadow minister for skills and Further Education, Toby Perkins, attended the most separate events during June and July.

The MP for Chesterfield was given two tickets to four tennis championship events, worth a combined total of £1,474, each provided by the Lawn Tennis Association.

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