MPs in smoking vote had links to tobacco firms

Matt Dathan writing in The Independent 12/03/15 about the back-hand interests of some MPs.

One in four of the MPs who voted against introducing plain cigarette packaging have declared links to tobacco industries in the past, analysis has shown.

At least seven other MPs who abstained on the vote have also accepted gifts and hospitality from tobaccco firms since 2008, including Philip Hammond, The Foreign Secretary. A majority 254 voted in favour of the controversial measure.

CigarettesA majority of Tory MPs, 181, defied the Government’s position by either voting against it or abstaining.

The Register of Members’ Financial Interests revealed that out of the 104 Tories who voted against, 22 have received hospitality tickets from tobacco firms and another, former cabinet minister Ken Clarke, is a former director of British American Tobacco.

Two of the three Labour MPs who opposed unbranded packaging also have declared tickets donated by Japan Tobacco International, which owns Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut cigarettes. The vast majority of gifts came in the form of Chelsea Flower show tickets, worth up to £1,600.

“What price a favour one wonders?”

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