MPs have hit out against Google and Heathrow for attempting to “swing votes” with packages of jam, biscuits and crisps.
Politicians have received, for example, packages from the team behind the Heathrow expansion. These contained cheese-and-port-flavoured crisps, shortbread, a chocolate bar, a charging bank, jam, tea, and a pen. New MP and Labour rising star Zarah Sultana responded by tweeting:
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) February 11, 2020
She had previously posted:
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) February 5, 2020
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas echoed this, saying:
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) February 11, 2020
Sultana followed these tweets up by stressing that they are an example of regular “lobbying for the super-rich, not for working people”:
Seriously though, I don’t think people realise how much lobbying of MPs there is by big business.
From little things like this, to receptions, dinners & free trips abroad – & that’s just for backbench MPs.
Remember, they’re lobbying for the super-rich, not for working people. https://t.co/iVGUiUqgDl
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) February 12, 2020
In fact, even Tory MP Steve Baker – the chair of the controversial right-wing European Research Group – seemed unimpressed, insisting:
What lobbying looks like 👇
Today's culprits: Heathrow.
(Whether a packet of crisps, some jam, shortbread and a charger will swing any votes on a major national infrastructure project… 🙄) pic.twitter.com/SadXGTIsfM
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) February 10, 2020
The Heathrow third runway project was given outline approval by MPs in June 2018. However, in December the Civil Aviation Authority refused to approve the airport’s bid to nearly quadruple the amount it spends before obtaining final approval, over fears passengers would foot the bill if the project did not go ahead.
The London airport had hoped to open a third runway by the end of 2026, but this has been pushed back to 2028-9.
Featured image and additional content via Press Association
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