MP on taxpayer-funded Maltese trip jokes to party host: ‘See, we are totally corrupt’

Tory member Brian Binley warns partygoers to beware of politicians – saying ‘they’ll scrounge you all the time’

A Conservative MP has told the host of a VIP party in Malta that “we are totally corrupt” while there on a trip which was paid for by the taxpayer, reports say.

Brian Binley, the member for Northampton South, was enjoying an evening of hospitality at the expense of the Maltese Bank of Valletta before heading to a complimentary open-air concert, according to an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper said Mr Binley was accompanied by Mark Pritchard, the Tory MP for Wrekin, on a visit to the country funded by the taxpayer.

Both politicians are members of the all-party Parliamentary group for Malta, and at the star-studded evening of entertainment boasted to the Maltese prime minister and his wife that they were a “two-man Parliamentary delegation”.

She responded that it was “better” being just the two of them, because “you get more treatment”.

While the comments were clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek, they are evidence of the MPs' acute awareness of the way their appearance at the party could be construed.

In another incident at the exclusive event, when discussing who had invited the MPs along Mr Binley joked: “Well, we’ve got to be very careful, because we might, you know what politicians are like, they’ll scrounge you all the time.”

He also reportedly told his hosts they “will say what a wonderful organisation [Bank of Valetta] is” on their return to the UK, and added a promise to “repay” the hospitality in London.

When a Telegraph reporter asked Mr Binley who funded the trip, he said: “It’s mostly taxpayers’ money.”

One of the authors of the newspaper’s report tweeted that Mr Binley was “unaware he is being recorded” at the time, while the Labour party in Sutton Coldfield asked: “Tory MP Brian Binley enjoying his taxpayer funded five day jolly to Malta a little too much?”

The news comes as Mr Pritchard called in the Parliamentary watchdog over allegations he tried to exploit his foreign contracts to set up lucrative business deals for his own profit.

Stephen Twigg, Labour’s spokesman on constitutional affairs, told The Independent: “We need MPs focused on securing the economic recovery for hard-working families not securing profits for financial firms.”

It is also not the first time that Mr Binley has come under fire for accepting gifts from private companies – last year he was found to have received hospitality from a leading tobacco company while making calls for the Government to drop cigarette packaging plans.

Mr Binley refused to comment on the latest reports.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before