Bunhill: Rumbold rumbled

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The Independent Online
IN THE wake of the Nadir affair, it's interesting to see how many MPs have suddenly remembered they took a trip to northern Cyprus in April as guests of the self-styled republic's government. Sketchy details are gradually making their way on to the Register of Members' Interests - the database of jollies, freebies and beanos enjoyed by politicians. Or at least those they're prepared to own up to.

So far nine MPs have come clean on visiting the republic, including John Biffen, former leader of the House of Commons. The most intriguing entry is from Dame Angela Rumbold, who admits to a 'parliamentary visit to Turkish Republic of North Cyprus made by my husband on my behalf'.

The deputy chairman of the Conservative Party hurries on to stress that her husband John paid for his own flight and some other expenses, but she admits that he did accept some hospitality. The couple were going to go together when their daughter fell ill. Dame Angela stayed at home. Her husband went anyway, keen to pick up the threads with Tahsin Ertrogolou, who had been President Rauf Denktash's representative in London.

Mr Rumbold, a blameless solicitor from Ealing, west London, had got to know Ertrogolou when doing the conveyancing on his house.

'It was all totally innocent,' the headmistressy Dame Angela tells me.

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