JACOB KING / AFP
In the UK, Matt Hancock and Kwasi Kwarteng trapped by a fake company for an advisory mission
UNITED KINGDOM – Two British MPs, former ministers, were caught on camera negotiating assignments at 10,000 pounds a day to advise an obscure South Korean company, a legal practice but which sparked debate on Sunday March 26 in Great Britain.
The two Conservatives Matt Hancock, who was Minister of Health during the pandemic, and Kwasi Kwarteng, ephemeral Minister of Finance in the fall of 2022, were trapped by activists from the organization Led By Donkeys, who had made themselves known for their anti-Brexit campaigns.
In the UK, it is legal for MPs to have a job in addition to their office, and there is no restriction on the amount of income they can earn. However, they must declare them in a public register.
Led By Donkeys explains in a video on Twitter that he wanted to make a ” experience “ in the midst of a cost of living crisis. “At a time when people need their MPs more than ever, would a member of parliament accept a job promoting the interests of a foreign company, and how much would they like to be paid? »
The organization imagined a South Korean company wishing to develop its activities in the United Kingdom and contacted twenty MPs. They are expected to attend six advisory board meetings per year. The majority did not respond but negotiations started on Zoom with Matt Hancock and Kwasi Kwarteng.
A “problem” with the current rules
“Do you have a daily rate?” »is asked the first. “Right now, yes, it’s 10,000 pounds sterling (11,340 euros)”, he replies. Matt Hancock has already been talked about by participating in the fall on a reality TV show in Australia while being an MP.
Kwasi Kwarteng replies that he would not accept less than 10,000 dollars (9,280 euros) per month, then finally tries 10,000 pounds sterling per day.
In September, Kwasi Kwarteng, then finance minister, presented a budget that created a storm in financial markets. He was fired from the government a few weeks later.
The latter did not react to the video of Led By Donkeys. A spokesman for Matt Hancock said he followed the rules.
Asked on Sky News on Sunday morning, Territorial Rebalancing Minister Michael Gove also explained that “the things offered were in the rules”. “What is important is whether an MP lives up to the expectations of his constituents”he added.
But for Labor MP Lucy Powell, “Being an MP is a full-time job”. “I don’t think anyone can watch this video without being disgusted”she added, believing that there was ” a problem “ with the current rules.
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