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MPs enjoyed more than £60k of freebies to COVID test events – including England games

Written by on 15/07/2021

MPs have enjoyed more than £60,000 worth of freebies to COVID-19 test events this summer – including tickets to England’s games at Euro 2020.

According to parliament’s latest register of interests, MPs have been given free tickets to football matches at Wembley, Wimbledon tennis, Royal Ascot and the Brit Awards.

All have been part of the government’s Events Research Programme, with the pilot events used to assess how large events can be staged safely as COVID restrictions are eased.

Wimbledon's Court One will be at full capacity from Tuesday
Image: Wimbledon was also among the government’s test events

So far, 13 MPs have registered getting free tickets to Euro 2020 matches, which were worth a total of more than £30,000.

These included England’s group game against the Czech Republic, as well as their knockout clashes with Germany and Denmark and final defeat against Italy.

Six MPs enjoyed a day out at Wimbledon for free, worth more than £6,000, and six MPs were also donated tickets to Royal Ascot, worth more than £9,000.

The Brit Awards in May were also a popular outing for MPs, with 10 MPs being given free tickets worth £8,600 to what was the UK’s first major indoor live music event for more than a year.

More on Euro 2020

MPs enjoyed their free tickets to the government test events thanks to a range of donors, including gambling firms, industry groups, Heineken beer, Google, event organisers and individual donors.

Among the MPs to register free tickets, Conservative backbenchers Philip Davies and Esther McVey, who married last year, both attended England’s Euro 2020 games against Czech Republic and Denmark, a day at Wimbledon, and a day at Royal Ascot.

Dua Lipa performs during the Brit Awards 2021
Image: The Brit Awards was the UK’s first major indoor live music event for more than a year

The largest donations registered were from Mr Davies, Ms McVey, fellow Tory MPs Laurence Robertson and Scott Benton, and Labour’s Toby Perkins.

All five were given tickets and hospitality to England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark at Wembley, which they registered as being worth £3,457 each.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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