Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians

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One of the tactics used by tobacco companies to weaken or prevent advances in tobacco control is by giving gifts to those who could influence the passage of tobacco control laws. Such gifts include dinners and tickets to popular events, which aim to build positive relationships with decision makers, and influence their understanding and voting behaviour on tobacco regulation.[1][2]

Official records of the British House of Commons and the House of Lords show that British politicians have been recipients of tobacco industry gifts and hospitality.

For example, from 2002 to 2008, the British Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) organised one-day shooting trips in Bedfordshire, and has also funded the Lords and Commons Cigar Club. Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has been the most active tobacco company in offering UK politicians hospitality with politicians accepting JTI tickets to various events, including the Chelsea Flower Show, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Cricket Test Matches at the Oval, the Rugby World Cup, and a rock concert. Imperial Tobacco has been giving hospitality since the 1990s, and most recently has been providing politicians with tickets to the English tennis tournament Wimbledon. British American Tobacco (BAT) has also provided Wimbledon tickets and hospitality, and in 2011 took one peer and her spouse to the opera.

Below are tables that list the MPs and Peers that have accepted tobacco industry hospitality. It should be noted that this list is by no means exhaustive. The incidences mentioned below, are the activities that have been publicly declared by the politicians.

Members of Parliament Who Declared Tobacco Industry Hospitality (2011-2015)

The details in the following table have been acquired from the publicly available House of Commons Registers of Members' Financial Interests.

MP Constituency Party 2011[3] 2012[4] 2013[5] 2014[6] 2015[7][8]
Nigel Adams Selby & Ainsty Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,050 plus VAT
Brian Binley Northampton South Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80; Glyndebourne Opera Festival - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Crispin Blunt Reigate Conservative Test Match cricket at the Oval £694.80
Nicholas Brown Newcastle Upon Tyne East Labour Glyndebourne Opera Festival – 2 tickets “value under £2,000”
Aidan Burley Cannock Chase Conservative Test Match cricket at the Oval £579 Men’s Wimbledon Tennis final - 2 tickets valued at £1,600 from Imperial Tobacco
Alun Cairns Vale of Glamorgan Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188
Christopher Chope Christchurch Conservative Glyndebourne Opera Festival - 2 tickets worth £1,534; Twickenham – 2 tickets worth £400[9] Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404 2 Wimbledon tickets worth £440 (BAT) & Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650 (JTI)
Therese Coffey Suffolk Costal Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Oliver Colvile Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport Conservative Test Match cricket at the Oval £694.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,260
Simon Danczuk Rochdale Labour Test Match cricket at the Oval – 2 tickets worth £1,389.60 Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650
Glyn Davies Montgomeryshire Conservative Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404
Jim Dowd Lewisham West & Penge Labour Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188 Glyndebourne Opera Festival - 2 tickets worth £1,533.32
Michael Ellis Northampton North Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Nigel Evans Ribble Valley Conservative Chelsea Flower Show – 1 ticket worth £556.40; Paul McCartney concert at the O2 arena – 2 tickets worth £350
Mark Field Cities of London & Westminster Conservative Men’s Wimbledon Tennis final - 2 tickets valued at £1,600 from Imperial Tobacco
Edward Garnier Harborough Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,200 Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404
Cheryl Gillan Chesham & Amersham Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 (not declared in House of Commons Register of Members’ financial interests but was declared in the Wales Office Hospitality Register)[10]
James Gray North Wiltshire Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Philip Hammond Runnymede & Weybridge Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188 Guests of JTI at Berkeley Hotel with Japanese Ambassador – 2 tickets worth £700[9]
Simon Hart Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire Conservative Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404
Stephen Hepburn Jarrow Labour Chelsea Flower Show – 1 tickets worth £702
Gerald Howarth Aldershot Conservative Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404 Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650
Lindsay Hoyle Chorley Labour Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,260
Gerald Kaufman Manchester, Gorton Labour Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,278
Danny Kinahan South Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650
Karl McCartney Lincoln Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Stephen Metcalfe South Basildon & East Thurrock Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
David Morris Morecambe & Lunsdale Conservative Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404; trip to visit JTI Lisnafillan factory in Northern Ireland, including flights and hotel totalling £668.74
Richard Ottaway Croydon South Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,150
Ian Paisley North Antrim Democratic Unionist Party Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650
Mark Pawsey Rugby Conservative Rugby World Cup ticket and hospitality worth £1,650
Christopher Pincher Tamworth Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80
Mark Pritchard The Wrekin Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Wimbledon – 2 tickets worth £1,600 from Imperial Tobacco
Laurence Robertson Tewkesbury Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188
Andrew Rosindell Romford Conservative Test Match cricket at the Oval – 2 tickets worth £1,447.50
Alec Shelbrooke Elmet & Rothwell Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,260
Mark Spencer Sherwood Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show ticket £594; ticket to the Freedom Dinner £80
Gerry Sutcliffe Bradford South Labour Chelsea Flower Show ticket - £702
Robert Walter North Dorset Conservative Glyndebourne Opera Festival - 2 tickets worth £1,533.32
Angela Watkinson Hornchurch & Upminster Conservative Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,132.80 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,188 Chelsea Flower Show - 2 tickets worth £1,260 Chelsea Flower Show – 2 tickets worth £1,404


Peers Who Declared Tobacco Industry Hospitality (2002-2014)

The details in the following table have been acquired from the publicly available House of Lords Registers of Lords’ Interests.

Peer/Lord Party 2002[11] 2003[12] 2005[13] 2006[13] 2008[14] 2011[15] 2012[16] 2014[17]
Baroness Boothroyd Labour Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Baroness Wheatcroft Conservative Opera & dinner afterwards – 2 tickets- courtesy of BAT Guest of JTI at Glyndebourne Opera 24 July 2014– 2 tickets
Earl of Lindsay Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Earl of Liverpool Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Brabazon of Tara Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Brougham and Vaux Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Davies of Coity Labour Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Dixon-Smith Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Eames Crossbench Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Flight Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Geddes Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Glentoran Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Luke Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Naseby Conservative Shooting trip December 2002, as guest of TMA Shooting trip December 2003, as guest of TMA Shooting trip October 2006, as guest of TMA Shooting trip December 2008 as guest of TMA Guest of JTI at Eagles concert at O2 Arena
Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan Labour Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Palmer Crossbench Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Pendry Labour Visit to Wimbledon as guest of Imperial Tobacco Visit to Wimbledon as guest of Imperial Tobacco Visit to Wimbledon as guest of Imperial Tobacco Received hospitality worth £140 from TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Skelmersdale Conservative Received hospitality worth £140 by TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar Club
Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour Received hospitality worth £140 by TMA as member of Lords & Commons Cigar ClubA
Lord Trimble Conservative Guest of JTI at Glyndebourne Opera 24 July 2014– 2 tickets

Contravention of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

UK politicians accepting tobacco industry hospitality contravenes the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to which the UK government has been a Party to since December 2004.[18] Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of the Treaty, recommend that Parties “should interact with the tobacco industry only when and to the extent strictly necessary to enable them to effectively regulate the tobacco industry and tobacco products”.[19]

TobaccoTactics Resources

TCRG Research

Notes

  1. Y. Saloojee, E. Dagli, Tobacco industry tactics for resisting public policy and health, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2000, 78,7
  2. O. Maynard, K. Evans-Reeves, Flower shows and festivals: tobacco industry hospitality and MP voting, The Guardian, 16 March 2015
  3. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members' Financial Interests - 13th December 2011 report, 13 December 2011, accessed December 2011
  4. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members' Financial Interests - 4th February 2013 report, 4th February 2013, accessed February 2015
  5. House of Commons Publications,Register of Members' Financial Interests – 8 July 2013 report, 8 July 2013, accessed February 2015
  6. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 9 February 2015 report, 9 February 2015, accessed February 2015
  7. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests as at 3 October 2016, 3 October 2016, accessed October 2017
  8. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests as at 6 June 2016, 6 June 2016, accessed October 2017
  9. 9.0 9.1 House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 2 June 2014 report, 2 June 2014, accessed February 2015
  10. Wales Office, Hospitality register for Secretary of State (Cheryl Gillan) Q2 2011, 12 December 2011, accessed December 2011
  11. House of Lords Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests as on 18 July 2003, 18 July 2003, accessed November 2017
  12. House of Lords Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests as on 16 July 2004, 16 July 2004, accessed November 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 House of Lords Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests as Amended to Show Position on 16 July 2007, 16 July 2007, accessed November 2017
  14. House of Lords Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests as Amended to Show Position on 23 July 2009, 23 July 2009, accessed November 2017
  15. House of Lords Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests as at 10 January 2012, 10 January 2012, accessed November 2017
  16. Peer’s tobacco Wimbledon tickets, Manchester Evening News, 20 April 2010, accessed November 2017
  17. House of Commons Publications, Register of Lords’ Interests 4 December 2014 report, 9 February 2015, 4 December 2014, accessed November 2017
  18. United Nations Treaty Collection, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Geneva, 21 May 2003, undated, accessed November 2017
  19. World Health Organization, Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2008, accessed November 2017