April 6, 2023 3 min read

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Tory MP Whip under Investigation over Gambling Lobbying Scandal

Scott Benton, a Conservative MP, was stripped from the Tory party whip after he was reportedly filmed discussing lobbying for a fake gambling company

Earlier this week, The Times released a news report revealing that Benton was offered to lobby for a gambling company, which didn’t exist, and met with undercover reporters instead. The Conservative, who has been an MP for Blackpool South since 2019, was filmed last month during a meeting with reporters who pretended to be investors in a gambling business.

The footage reveals a discussion between the Tory party whip and the fake gambling industry investors where the MP said he could submit specific questions for discussion. Moreover, the MP reportedly agreed to provide sensitive information. Benton said he could “guarantee” to provide sensitive data such as the Gambling White paper some 48 hours before its publication.

Additionally, the Tory party whip explained how he could lobby for the fake gambling company saying: “We vote in the House of Commons two or three times a day… The minister has to pass you. And then you’ve got 10 minutes while you walk around to the next vote to have his year.”

When asked about what compensation he would agree on, Benton said: “I would leave that to you.” Then, the undercover reporters offered the Tory party whip between £2,000 and £4,000 a month for the lobbying services. When asked if that sounds “within the ballpark,” he answered yes.

Tory Party Whip Suspended, Investigation Ongoing

In light of the new report, Chief Whip Simon Hart confirmed for The Independent that Benton was stripped from the Tory whip. Hart explained: “Following his self-referral to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards earlier this evening, Scott Benton has had the Conservative Party Whip suspended whilst an investigation is ongoing.”

Benton submitted a response which was released by The Times in light of the recent report, explaining that he was approached by representatives of a company that offered “an expert advisory role” for him last month. He said he met with the representatives for more information but after the visit, he was asked to send his CV, along with other personal data. “I did not do so as I was concerned that what was being asked of me was not within the Parliamentary rules,” wrote Benton.

He explained that since the initial encounter with the company, he hadn’t been contacted further. Still, Benton admitted that he consulted with the Commons Registrar and the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner regarding the Parliamentary rules.

Currently, the Parliament has strict rules when it comes to lobbying. Uncovering sensitive data is prohibited under those rules. Additionally, MPs are also not allowed to sign partnerships as parliamentary advisers with companies in an effort to impact decisions within Parliament.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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