On 10th January I mentioned that local MP Virendra Sharma was AWOL and not back in Parliament voting for the first couple of days of business. I then posted about his three foreign trips to-date and noted he had had an extended Christmas break. Now he has updated his entry in the Register of Members’ Interests and it appears that he was in India for the third time in the space of sixth months and did not get back into the country until 10th January. See his list of trips below. So in six months our new MP has made four foriegn trips. Maybe one a year is reasonable but four in six months is quite simply preposterous.
Now that Labour and LibDem MPs have voted themselves a Â£10,000 a year communications allowance I look forward to getting a glossy brochure in due course with all of Sharma’s holiday snaps.
Cyprus 30 September-3 October 2007
Went for so-called study visit with Friends of Cyprus delegation. Accommodation costs, use of car and driver provided by the Republic of Cyprus House of Representatives. Return flights to Cyprus paid for out of House of Commons European travel allowance. Registered 17 October 2007. Since when has Sharma had any interest in Cyprus?
India 23-30 October 2007
Went to India, including New Delhi and Mumbai, for international Parliamentarians of Indian Origin event. Return flight to India, accommodation, meals and travel costs met by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Registered 21 November 2007. Nice for him. Maybe useful for India to be able influence international parliamentarians. What’s in it for Ealing and Southall?
India 16-23 November 2007
Off to India again with London Mayor Ken Livingstone, see previous posting.
India 27 December 2007-10 January 2008
Off to Chandigarh, Punjab, India, for a Punjab State Government Conference on issues relating to overseas Punjabis. Upgrade to Business Class for return flight from Heathrow to New Delhi provided by Air India. Accommodation, meals and travel costs in India relating to the conference paid for by the Punjab State Government. Registered 1 February 2008. Whilst a minority of Sharma’s constituents might be Punjabis the rest of us would perhaps like him to work for us.
I acknowledge TheyworkForYou.com as the source for the Parliamentary stats – great job, again. Also thanks to Robert Darke for pointing out the latest trip to me.