Rishi Sunak warns of ‘concerned’ behavior of British MPs abroad – Politico | Daily News Byte

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LONDON – UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said allegations of drunkenness and sexual misconduct by British MPs on overseas visits are “deeply worrying”, but refused to back reforms by lesser-known parliamentary groups organizing their trips.

An investigation by POLITICO has revealed how some MPs and colleagues on All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) have used parliamentary visits abroad as an opportunity to covertly use sex workers and binge drink.

A Downing Street spokesman said on Wednesday that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was aware of the “concerning” reports, and urged lawmakers to focus on working for the public good.

“We have seen a number of reports over the Christmas period and shortly before, and some of the behavior reported is clearly very concerning,” a No 10 spokesman said.

“The Prime Minister believes MPs should work hard for the public, and the broad majority are focused on trying to solve our shared challenges, whether they are the most vulnerable or working to make our schools better and our streets safer, ” he added. .

A spokesman declined to comment on whether the prime minister would support reform of APPGs – loosely-controlled groups of cross-party MPs with interests in specific policy areas – saying that was a matter for House of Commons authorities rather than the government.

Particular concerns have been raised over the activities of “Country APPGs”, of which there are over 130 operating in the UK Parliament. These groups of MPs focus their investigative work on a particular foreign country or countries. Members often visit their country of interest on private fact-finding missions funded by foreign governments or private companies, and often on UK parliamentary time. Officials present say some MPs from such groups take such work seriously, but others view the trips as mere recreational fun.

In allegations reported by POLITICO, a former Conservative MP asked where he could find the nearest brothel during a visit to a Southeast Asian country, and that the former minister stopped after official trips to solicit his “interest.” [local] women.”

A senior Labor MP showed affection for “Russian girls” during a trip abroad, according to a foreign diplomat, who said local officials felt powerless to intervene because they were concerned about maintaining their influence in Westminster.

A separate article published by The Times on Wednesday said British MPs visiting the dictatorship were greeted at their hotel by scores of sex workers. The Times said there was no suggestion that MPs knew in advance that sex workers would be present, or that they would use their services.

The Times reported that on another visit to a country closely linked to the UK, an MP had to be reprimanded for repeatedly propositioning a young female intern who helped organize the trip.

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