Allegations Surface of UK MPs Engaging in Sex Tourism During Official Trips
Several British Members of Parliament (MPs) are facing accusations of exploiting their official overseas trips for indulging in sex tourism. These MPs, while on their foreign visits, allegedly sought out brothels, hired sex workers, and missed official meetings due to excessive drinking during their night outs.
These allegations surfaced following an investigation by POLITICO into the activities of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) – some of which are responsible for organizing these foreign trips. APPGs are groups within the parliament that focus on specific issues, with over 130 of them dedicated to fostering interest in a particular foreign country.
These country-focused APPGs often plan extravagant trips to the countries they represent for their members. These trips are sometimes financed by the host countries or related organizations. The investigation involved conversations with MPs, peers, and diplomatic and parliamentary officials who participated in some of these trips.
One MP reported that a former Conservative MP, who is now a member of the House of Lords, asked for directions to the nearest brothel during a trip to Southeast Asia. Another Conservative MP and former minister is alleged to have extended his stay after the official delegation returned to the UK, allegedly to pursue an “interest in [local] women”.
One of his colleagues told POLITICO, “He showed an interest in pretty young girls. He routinely stayed on after these visits and linked up with young women in the place in question.”
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Labour MP is alleged to have a preference for “Russian girls”. It is suggested that local officials did not intervene due to concerns about offending the delegation.
While APPGs are permitted to use parliamentary premises for meetings and adopt parliamentary branding, they are not official parliamentary bodies and operate largely without regulation. They are also used for lobbying by commercial and other interests. Earlier this year, the chair of the standards committee called for the power to shut down APPGs where there was a clear conflict of interest.
This request followed an investigation by the OpenDemocracy website, which revealed that the 775 groups received a total of £13 million from private companies since 2018. Companies supporting these groups include private healthcare firms, arms companies, and tech giants, all of whom are eager to exert influence in Westminster.