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When she was a local Labour councillor, Tulip Siddiq said her politics were all about generating ‘a culture of giving’. She wanted North London bankers to give up a share of their bonuses to fund local services.
But now she’s on the Labour frontbench, it appears Tulip has switched from giving to taking … freebies.
The shadow Treasury Minister responsible for the City apparently saw no conflict of interest in accepting a £360 jolly from Lloyds Banking Group to visit the Chelsea Flower Show plus dinner for two.
The MP, who replaced Glenda Jackson as the member for Hampstead and Kilburn in 2015, descends from a Bangladeshi political dynasty – her grandfather was the country’s first president and her aunt is the current prime minister.
Tulip Siddiq apparently saw no conflict of interest in accepting a £360 jolly from Lloyds Banking Group to visit the Chelsea Flower Show plus dinner for two
Tulip wouldn’t say why on an MP’s salary of £84,144 she couldn’t pay her own way to see the Chelsea Flower Show, nor how accepting the freebie was appropriate as a Shadow City Minister.She did, however, post several pictures of blooms on her Instagram, with the insightful caption: ‘Chelsea Flower Show… just amazing’.
Days later she posted an article about Labour’s Treasury team under the headline: ‘We want to behave like we’re in government’. It seems like you’ve already started, petal.
Beware men in grey suits
Tomorrow, politicians and the donors who pull their strings will pile in to London’s V&A museum for the Conservative Summer Party.
Boris Johnson and ‘the whole Cabinet’ are due to attend, an insider tells me, alongside Tory Party co-chairman and museum trustee Ben Elliot.
A sum of £20,000 will get a Minister on your table, with a dinner and auction expected to open up wallets. Sir Nicholas Coleridge, the V&A chairman, will have quite the occasion to celebrate his new knighthood.
Boris Johnson (pictured) and ‘the whole Cabinet’ are due to pile in to London’s V&A museum for the Conservative Summer Party
Last night, the museum insisted no trustees were involved in what was described as a ‘standard corporate venue hire’, nor was there a special discount.
The dress code is ‘suits’, which – given the PM’s recent woes with dissatisfied MPs and donors – will leave him hoping they don’t all turn out to be grey…
What will happen to his Islamophobia investigation now that ethics chief Lord Geidt has quit?
He spent five months examining Tory MP Nus Ghani’s complaint that Chief Whip Mark Spencer had told her she was sacked as a Minister because her Muslim faith made people uncomfortable.
Geidt was due to update Ghani on the day he resigned and there is talk the Prime Minister will not replace him.
Lord Christopher Geidt (pictured) stepped down from his position as Boris Johnson’s adviser on ministers’ interests
All of which means, in theory, Johnson is left overseeing a probe where he is not only a key witness but has already promoted Spencer to Leader of the House.
MPs tell me that, meanwhile, Ghani has been warned to stay clear of Spencer. Another good week for ethics.
Maria Caulfield, the Minister for Teeth, pulled out of a British Dental Association conference this month to avoid a drilling about the ‘crisis’ of low earners doing ‘DIY dentistry’.
Citing ‘urgent government business’, Caulfield was, in fact, happily tweeting from a constituency fair in Sussex.
The excuse was mocked with an empty chair replacing Caulfield at the conference. No doubt when the Minister next needs a check-up there will be a queue of NHS dentists ready to help – with pliers and string at the ready.
‘My political opponents love to paint me as some kind of tech geek,’ Rishi Sunak wrote in his newsletter last week.
Actually, Chancellor, your opponents – and colleagues – paint you as a Green Card-holding, out-of-touch husband of a non-dom billionaire heiress with Russia-linked investments.
The rumoured comeback of the most politically naive member of the Cabinet might need a bit of work yet.