Page last updated at 21:51 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Madeleine Moon MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches

Madeleine Moon
Madeleine Moon is the MP for Bridgend

A BBC investigation has revealed that more than 20 MPs have breached rules in relation to registering and declaring overseas trips paid for by foreign governments.

The trips taken by Madeleine Moon and her relevant parliamentary activity are listed below.

Gibraltar

Labour MP for Bridgend Madeleine Moon visited Gibraltar in September 2006 on a trip paid for by the government of Gibraltar. The trip was registered in April 2007, which falls outside the four-week period of registration stipulated in the code of conduct.

Following Mrs Moon's visit to Gibraltar she signed an early day motion (EDM) where no interest was declared:

1. 'GIBRALTAR DAY CELEBRATION' / 25.10.2006 / EDM 2861

This early day motion was signed prior to the registration of the trip to Gibraltar. The code of conduct states that: "Any member who has a registrable interest which has not at the time been registered, shall not undertake any action, speech or proceeding of the House (except voting) to which the registration would be relevant until he or she has notified the Commissioner of that interest."

China

In September 2007 Mrs Moon visited China on a trip paid for by registered sponsors of the All-Party Group on China.

Mrs Moon visited China again in September 2008 on a visit paid for in part by the Chinese Communist Party.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS
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Following these visits to China, Mrs Moon asked the following parliamentary questions that relate to China, where no interest was declared. The questions were numbered 186605, 171738 and 182247.

Israel

Mrs Moon visited Israel in September 2005 and the trip was paid for by the Israeli minister for foreign affairs and the Labour Friends of Israel.

Within a year of registering the trip, records show that Mrs Moon signed 6 EDMs relating to Israel and the Palestinian territories where no interest was declared.

1. 'IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD' / 31.10.2005 / EDM 896

2. 'LONDON LAUNCH OF OPEN BETHLEHEM PROJECT' / 08.11.2005 / EDM 983

3. 'ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF YITZHAK RABIN' / 09.11.2005 / EDM 986

4. 'BETHLEHEM AND RACHEL'S TOMB' / 13.03.2006 / EDM 1803

5. 'ISRAELI MILITARY ACTION IN THE GAZA STRIP' / 29.06.2006 / EDM 2480

6. 'SITUATION IN LEBANON AND GAZA' / 18.07.2006 / EDM 2594

Replies

Referring to Gibraltar, Mrs Moon told the BBC: "Gibraltar is a British overseas territory and therefore my visit was not funded by a 'foreign' government.

"Under the code of conduct that you rightly refer to, S.47 highlights that visits paid for by, or undertaken on behalf of, the government (as this trip was) are exempt from registration. Nonetheless, in the interests of transparency, I did register this trip.

"The EDM that I signed was recognition of the historical and continuing links between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom. In the context of the above, I believed it was acceptable."

Reply on China

Mrs Moon said question 186605 that she asked on China related to the prime minister's visit and question 171738 was, "asked after debate within the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, of which I had been a member.

"Even if we believe registration of interest to have been required, the supplementary question I asked after the initial question is excluded from the requirement," and that question 182247 arose, "from my role as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Furniture".

On Israel

Mrs Moon said: "It appears that I should have marked my interest by placing the letter 'R' after my name. This is a technical error on my part, given that the EDMs were not pro-Israel I had felt there was no requirement to place the 'R'. Despite the technical need for the 'R', I would highlight that the EDMs in question do not show any bias favouring Israel."


Other MPs who have breached the rules:



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