Two British Members of Parliament have admitted to being paid to appear on an online panel discussion on political prisoners in Saudi Arabia while using their Commons offices.
The incident took place last November when Liberal Democrat Layla Moran and Conservative Crispin Blunt were paid £3,000 and £6,000 respectively by law firm Bindmans LLP to appear in what they described as an “evidence session” to hear from human rights organizations and family members of detained Saudi Arabian political prisoners.
“With MPs from other parties, I worked on the detention of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia with Bindmans. I deeply regret that I ‘zoomed’ in for one meeting from my office in Parliament when Covid restrictions were in place. I take full responsibility for this and it will not happen again,” Moran said in a statement carried by the BBC.
For his part, Blunt told the BBC that he did not believe that there would be an issue with using his parliamentary office for the meeting at no cost to the taxpayer, but that he would accept the conclusion of any investigation by the parliamentary standards commissioner if a complaint was filed against him.
Under British parliamentary rules, Members of Parliament must not use the parliamentary facilities for non-parliamentary work.
Source: Al Arabiya