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Starmer says all his freebies have been properly declared

02 Jul 2024 2 minute read
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) and Vaughan Gething ( right) on the General Election campaign trail. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer said freebies he has accepted have been “properly” declared, after it was reported he received £76,000 worth of entertainment, clothes and other gifts during the last parliament.

He collected more freebies than almost any other MP since 2019, according to the Financial Times.

This included tickets to more than 20 football matches. As an MP, the Labour leader has to declare gifts to the House of Commons register of interests.

Speaking to reporters at a warehouse in North East Derbyshire, the Labour leader said: “The system is one where if we take any contribution or donation of any sort that is all set out and declared. And that’s what we’ve done properly on my behalf.

“Quite a lot of that was Arsenal hospitality, particularly away games where, as you can appreciate, my desire to go in the stands is not always met with approval by the security teams around me, which inevitably means that I’m in corporate hospitality if I want to see the game.”

Sir Keir is an avid Arsenal supporter, and free tickets to see the team play multiple matches were among the gifts listed by the Financial Times.

Clothing

The most recent register of interests shows that Sir Keir accepted freebies including a private box for four at Epsom Downs racecourse worth £3,716 in June 2023 and £16,200 of work clothing from Labour peer and entrepreneur Lord Waheed Ali in April.

MPs must declare any gifts, benefits or hospitality with a value of over £300 which they receive from a UK source to the register of interests, which is updated fortnightly while Parliament is sitting.

They are expected to declare anything that might reasonably be thought by others to influence their actions or words as an MP.

Sir Keir took a break from the campaign trail last week to see Taylor Swift in concert, but it is not clear whether those tickets were a gift.

The Labour leader posted a picture of him and his wife Victoria at the concert captioned “‘Swift’ campaign pitstop.” He later told reporters “Change” was his favourite of the singer’s songs.


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