Labour says Esther McVey broke ministerial code over races jaunt

Posted On: 
27th May 2018

Labour has piled pressure on Esther McVey after it emerged the Tory minister spoke out against gambling reforms shortly after enjoying a day at the races courtesy of a betting firm.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey
PA Images

Shadow Minister Jon Trickett accused the Work and Pensions Secretary of breaching the ministerial code and has written to the Prime Minister to demand an investigation.

Ms McVey and her Tory MP partner Philip Davies went to the Cheltenham festival on March 16 courtesy of William Hill, it has emerged.

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The tickets were £270 each, according to Mr Davies’ register of interests, but Ms McVey is yet to register the perk.

In his letter to Downing Street, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Mr Trickett claimed Ms McVey failed to mention the tickets as she argued against cutting the the stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals in Cabinet.

The register requires ministers to “ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests”.

And it adds: “No minister should accept gifts which would, or might appear to, place him or her under an obligation.”

Downing Street told the Sunday Times: “The Prime Minister has full confidence in her and will respond in due course.”