Minister refuses to tell Labour whether he hung out with lobbyists
Matt Hancock was asked to spill the beans on dinners, parties and concerts he attended.
Digital and culture minister Matt Hancock has refused to say whether any lobbyists were present when he attended an Ed Sheeran concern and when he went to the Bell Pottinger summer party.
The minister was responding to a Commons question by Labour’s Jon Trickett, following the publication of the latest records showing hospitality received by ministers in the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
The records show that from 1 April to 30 June this year culture secretary Karen Bradley was mainly given tickets to high profile football matches but also got two tickets for an Ed Sheeran gig.
Hancock registered more hospitality than his boss in the period from April to June this year. He enjoyed gigs by Ed Sheeran and Adele and dinners courtesy of Warner Bros, Science Museum, Royal Academy and the BBC. He also declared his attendance at the Victoria and Albert Museum summer party and at the Bell Pottinger bash.
In a written parliamentary question tabled this week, Trickett asked "whether (a) representatives or employees of the firm which offered that hospitality and (b) lobbyists or contractors of those firms were present at those events".
But in his response, Hancock was tight-lipped about who he mixed with at the Bell Pottinger party and other events he was invited to earlier this year.
He said: "Ministers support a large number of events in the DCMS sectors and meet many representatives from those sectors, the specific attendees at events attended to by ministers is not centrally held."