Cotswold MP defends trip to China paid for by Chinese communists

Cotswold MP defends trip to China paid for by Chinese communists

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (1680785)

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (1680580)

(6793266)

First published in News
Last updated
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Brendan McFadden
Wilts and Glos Standard by , Reporter

GEOFFREY Clifton-Brown has defended his £2825 visit to China last month after receiving criticism about his trip from a national newspaper.

Earlier this month the Daily Mail reported that the Communist Party of China had funded a week-long trip by Mr Clifton Brown(60), commenting “It’s a hard life being an MP”.

Mr Clifton-Brown said his visit was made as part of his role as Chairman of the Conservative Party International Office, which is responsible for the Conservative Party's international profile and delivering its global democracy development programme abroad.

He claims his trip was a fact finding mission to discuss Sino-British relations and saw him meet various representatives of the Chinese Government to discuss opportunities for China and the UK to work together.

The MP for the Cotswold said: “You cannot just have MPs sitting down. They need to see what is going on in the rest of the world.

“I want to forge better relationships in terms of trade, cultural activity and education activity. I want to stress that whilst in China I also met with Professor Tiger Wang who is the Royal Agricultural Universities’ (RAU) representative in China.”

Geoffrey added that as part of his visit the met members of an environment think tank, China Telecom Corporation Limited and visited two major universities.

This is not the first time the MP has been funded to go on a international trip. In 2011 he was paid £3,500 by international aid charity Muslim Hands for a two-day visit to Sudan to observe the end of the referendum in the country and meet senior politicians and officials in the North and South.

The politician also defended going on a one-day shooting trip paid for by the British Association of Conservation and Shooting in December 2013 and then speaking against a proposed hike in firearm application fees in the House of Commons the following month.

Mr Clifton-Brown was among four Tory MPs who enjoyed slap-up meals and luxurious accommodation on the 2,500-acre Catton Hall estate in Derbyshire, at a cost of £800 each.

The old Etonian said there was no conflict of interest as the trip it was declared in the House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests in line with parliamentary rules.

“I did not do anything that was against the rules of the country or the House of Commons, he said.

“The rules are quite clear it is okay as long as it is declared and registered as an interest.

“The British Association for Shooting and Conservation was founded by a railway engineer, Stanley Duncan, from Hull in 1908 and as Chairman for the APPG for Shooting and Conservation, I can confidently state that shooting receives cross party support in the House of Commons and that the All-Party Group has Labour and Liberal Democrat members, as well as Conservative members.”

Comments (19)

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9:37pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Ciren_Resident says...

In fairness to Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the issue with the trip to China seems to have been blown up out if all proportion. If you look at the MPs' Register of Interests, you'll see that there is absolutely nothing unusual about British MPs from all parties undertaking overseas trips (on parliamentary business) which are partly funded by the foreign government hosting them.

In Geoffrey Clifton-Brown's case, it was a trip to China in April 2014 partly funded by the Chinese Government (i.e. the Communist Party of China). In fact, the "donation" was £1250 to cover travel, accommodation etc. Two other MPs accompanied him on the trip and all received exactly the same "donation".

Since 2010, over twenty MPs from all the main parties have received donations from the Communist Party of China in relation to visits to China.

Our local MP appears to have been singled out in the national press in respect of the China "donations" - perhaps unfairly so!
In fairness to Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the issue with the trip to China seems to have been blown up out if all proportion. If you look at the MPs' Register of Interests, you'll see that there is absolutely nothing unusual about British MPs from all parties undertaking overseas trips (on parliamentary business) which are partly funded by the foreign government hosting them. In Geoffrey Clifton-Brown's case, it was a trip to China in April 2014 partly funded by the Chinese Government (i.e. the Communist Party of China). In fact, the "donation" was £1250 to cover travel, accommodation etc. Two other MPs accompanied him on the trip and all received exactly the same "donation". Since 2010, over twenty MPs from all the main parties have received donations from the Communist Party of China in relation to visits to China. Our local MP appears to have been singled out in the national press in respect of the China "donations" - perhaps unfairly so! Ciren_Resident
  • Score: -1

9:50pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Crispin Mount says...

As Leader of the Opposition back in 2009 Cameron stated the next big Parliamentary scandal was going to be lobbying - he was right - but has done nothing about it.

The gun toting lobby of this country have successfully targeted and lined up friendly rural Tory MPs to administer their industry's interests under the guise of 'field' sport. It's actually more USA National Rifle Association.

Clifton-Brown is a key player and regularly enjoys hunting and shooting junkets courtesy of the BASC. In return he has advocated and voted to freeze the price of gun licences at £50. This fee has not increased since 2001.

The Police have confirmed the cost of actually processing gun licences to be at least £200.

So, there you have it; taxpayers are now subsidising minority 'field' sports, or worse...

"Pull......"
As Leader of the Opposition back in 2009 Cameron stated the next big Parliamentary scandal was going to be lobbying - he was right - but has done nothing about it. The gun toting lobby of this country have successfully targeted and lined up friendly rural Tory MPs to administer their industry's interests under the guise of 'field' sport. It's actually more USA National Rifle Association. Clifton-Brown is a key player and regularly enjoys hunting and shooting junkets courtesy of the BASC. In return he has advocated and voted to freeze the price of gun licences at £50. This fee has not increased since 2001. The Police have confirmed the cost of actually processing gun licences to be at least £200. So, there you have it; taxpayers are now subsidising minority 'field' sports, or worse... "Pull......" Crispin Mount
  • Score: 3

10:38pm Fri 6 Jun 14

hd-ciren says...

It must be worth pointing out that shooting and conservation generates around £1.6bn for the economy every year - much of it income into rural areas like the Cotswolds. Surely we should be expecting Clifton-Brown to support an industry which provides jobs and makes a vital contribution to the local economy! Plus, is there perhaps a danger of this becoming a class issue - for example, is it really relevant that Clifton-Brown is an old Etonian??
It must be worth pointing out that shooting and conservation generates around £1.6bn for the economy every year - much of it income into rural areas like the Cotswolds. Surely we should be expecting Clifton-Brown to support an industry which provides jobs and makes a vital contribution to the local economy! Plus, is there perhaps a danger of this becoming a class issue - for example, is it really relevant that Clifton-Brown is an old Etonian?? hd-ciren
  • Score: -1

9:13am Sat 7 Jun 14

MR DOBBY says...

DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERANTS TO HOW MANY GUN LICENCES THERE ARE BY PUTING UP THE COST, I DONT THINK SO.
DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERANTS TO HOW MANY GUN LICENCES THERE ARE BY PUTING UP THE COST, I DONT THINK SO. MR DOBBY
  • Score: 1

2:58pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Col Mustard says...

The Facts !!!!
Name of donor: (1) Mr Maurice Bennett (2) Communist Party of China
Address of donor: (1) private ; (2) 4 Fuxing Road, Beijing, 100860
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): (1) international flights costing £1,575; (2) internal flights, food, travel and accommodation with a value of £1,250 Destination of visit: China
Date of visit: 12-19 April 2014
Purpose of visit: to discuss Sino-British relations

The question , How is this going to benefit his constituents ? Unless he is thinking of opening a Chinese restaurant ? Items not discussed , abuse of human rights in China, banning of free speech and comment et etc...

Vote Conservative Get Turkeys
The Facts !!!! Name of donor: (1) Mr Maurice Bennett (2) Communist Party of China Address of donor: (1) private ; (2) 4 Fuxing Road, Beijing, 100860 Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): (1) international flights costing £1,575; (2) internal flights, food, travel and accommodation with a value of £1,250 Destination of visit: China Date of visit: 12-19 April 2014 Purpose of visit: to discuss Sino-British relations The question , How is this going to benefit his constituents ? Unless he is thinking of opening a Chinese restaurant ? Items not discussed , abuse of human rights in China, banning of free speech and comment et etc... Vote Conservative Get Turkeys Col Mustard
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Col Mustard says...

Why the Tories are visiting everywhere but their own doorstep !

David Cameron’s government is going to add an estimated £530 billion to the national debt in just five years. That’s more than Tony Blair and Gordon Brown added in 11 years.

In short, despite all the “austerity” this government is going to double the national debt in just one parliament.

By the next general election in 2015, our national debt is estimated to stand at almost £1.36 trillion, or 80% of our entire national output.This figure does not include £900 million, the cost of bailing out the Banks as the Government has hidden the figure from the national debt figure .

So now you can understand why they will do everything to avoid dealing with the domestic timebomb at home ! but feel that foreign beanos and gay marriage require more attention ! because it obscures the real problem.

Yes its another Chinese Takeaway for Mr Clifton-Brown !!!
Why the Tories are visiting everywhere but their own doorstep ! David Cameron’s government is going to add an estimated £530 billion to the national debt in just five years. That’s more than Tony Blair and Gordon Brown added in 11 years. In short, despite all the “austerity” this government is going to double the national debt in just one parliament. By the next general election in 2015, our national debt is estimated to stand at almost £1.36 trillion, or 80% of our entire national output.This figure does not include £900 million, the cost of bailing out the Banks as the Government has hidden the figure from the national debt figure . So now you can understand why they will do everything to avoid dealing with the domestic timebomb at home ! but feel that foreign beanos and gay marriage require more attention ! because it obscures the real problem. Yes its another Chinese Takeaway for Mr Clifton-Brown !!! Col Mustard
  • Score: -1

5:36pm Sat 7 Jun 14

hd-ciren says...

The responsibilities of MPs in this country do not begin and end with their constituents .. yes, we vote for them to represent us but MPs have much wider duties in the domestic and international arenas. Like it or not, China is an emerging economic power and it is vital in the long-term interests of this country that we build strong relations with them - MPs from all parties have a key role to play in this as our elected representatives. It's also important to point out that this trip was not funded at all by the UK taxpayer and it took place during the Easter recess, so there's no suggestion of Clifton-Brown neglecting his parliamentary duties at Westminster.
The responsibilities of MPs in this country do not begin and end with their constituents .. yes, we vote for them to represent us but MPs have much wider duties in the domestic and international arenas. Like it or not, China is an emerging economic power and it is vital in the long-term interests of this country that we build strong relations with them - MPs from all parties have a key role to play in this as our elected representatives. It's also important to point out that this trip was not funded at all by the UK taxpayer and it took place during the Easter recess, so there's no suggestion of Clifton-Brown neglecting his parliamentary duties at Westminster. hd-ciren
  • Score: 1

7:38am Sun 8 Jun 14

Olly Cromwell says...

No-one should be surprised that our part-time Tory MP likes following the money. Things have never been quite the same for Geoffrey since his £2.7 million house flipping was ruled out of order.

Our old Etonian toff has no shame; accepting 'donations' from either charities gun lobbyists or oppressive Communist regimes. It's all the same when you have no conscience !

MP for rent....apply here.
No-one should be surprised that our part-time Tory MP likes following the money. Things have never been quite the same for Geoffrey since his £2.7 million house flipping was ruled out of order. Our old Etonian toff has no shame; accepting 'donations' from either charities gun lobbyists or oppressive Communist regimes. It's all the same when you have no conscience ! MP for rent....apply here. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 3

3:58pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Pentheus says...

"It's also important to point out that this trip was not funded at all by the UK taxpayer and it took place during the Easter recess,"

This is correct , as it was funded by the Chinese Communist Party.
Like Clifton-Brown this organisation is also involved in "shooting" ....Tiananmen Square 1989 !!

Disgraceful judgement and totally indefensible ..........
"It's also important to point out that this trip was not funded at all by the UK taxpayer and it took place during the Easter recess," This is correct , as it was funded by the Chinese Communist Party. Like Clifton-Brown this organisation is also involved in "shooting" ....Tiananmen Square 1989 !! Disgraceful judgement and totally indefensible .......... Pentheus
  • Score: 3

4:57pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Ciren_Resident says...

So, according to Pentheus, we should just totally refuse to engage with the world's second largest economy based on events which happened a quarter of a century ago (when China was a very different country!) ... and anyone who does so is guilty of "disgraceful judgement" and "totally indefensible" behaviour. What a ridiculous thing to say!
So, according to Pentheus, we should just totally refuse to engage with the world's second largest economy based on events which happened a quarter of a century ago (when China was a very different country!) ... and anyone who does so is guilty of "disgraceful judgement" and "totally indefensible" behaviour. What a ridiculous thing to say! Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 3

5:36pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Susie Clark says...

I see Olly Cromwell is up to his usual tricks about bashing the sitting MP as part of his wannabe MP campaign. In the last month, Lib Dems have lost 75% of councillors in the May elections, all but one of their MEPs and came 6th in the Newark by-election, and all Olly can come up with is trot out the old sores." Part-time MP ? Who says so ? Why, Olly of course.
I thought I'd do some research about Mr.Clifton Brown's activities last week.It included attending the Queen's speech,, visiting the new development at Little Rissington, visiting Meysey Hampton School to discuss the provision of free school meals ,having discussions with the Cotswold Conservation board discussing flood management schemes , attending the 40th anniversay of the Firefighters memorial trust and holding one of his regular surgeries in Cirencester .doesn't sound very part-time to me. And so what about visiting China - perhaps if the Lib Dems stopped for just a moment their pre-occupation with Europe, they might just realise there is a larger market out there in the Far East, which will provide jobs for the Cotswolds and the UK and Mr.Clifton-Brown is prepared to do something about helping to achieve it.
I see Olly Cromwell is up to his usual tricks about bashing the sitting MP as part of his wannabe MP campaign. In the last month, Lib Dems have lost 75% of councillors in the May elections, all but one of their MEPs and came 6th in the Newark by-election, and all Olly can come up with is trot out the old sores." Part-time MP ? Who says so ? Why, Olly of course. I thought I'd do some research about Mr.Clifton Brown's activities last week.It included attending the Queen's speech,, visiting the new development at Little Rissington, visiting Meysey Hampton School to discuss the provision of free school meals ,having discussions with the Cotswold Conservation board discussing flood management schemes , attending the 40th anniversay of the Firefighters memorial trust and holding one of his regular surgeries in Cirencester .doesn't sound very part-time to me. And so what about visiting China - perhaps if the Lib Dems stopped for just a moment their pre-occupation with Europe, they might just realise there is a larger market out there in the Far East, which will provide jobs for the Cotswolds and the UK and Mr.Clifton-Brown is prepared to do something about helping to achieve it. Susie Clark
  • Score: -1

9:29pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Col Mustard says...

Mmm Ciren Resident you must be of the Tory persuasion.... Human rights abuses, imprisonment without trial , massive corruption amongst the ruling proletariat, thieving of state funds , denial of free speech ...

Yep the tories have a lot in common with China..
Mmm Ciren Resident you must be of the Tory persuasion.... Human rights abuses, imprisonment without trial , massive corruption amongst the ruling proletariat, thieving of state funds , denial of free speech ... Yep the tories have a lot in common with China.. Col Mustard
  • Score: 2

9:32pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Pentheus says...

Study the past if you would define the future.!

Confucius..
Study the past if you would define the future.! Confucius.. Pentheus
  • Score: -2

9:42pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Ciren_Resident says...

Maybe Col Mustard should try giving his mouth a chance sometime!
Maybe Col Mustard should try giving his mouth a chance sometime! Ciren_Resident
  • Score: 3

3:25am Tue 10 Jun 14

Union Man says...

the
the Union Man
  • Score: 0

3:27am Tue 10 Jun 14

Union Man says...

If "Crispin" fancies a trip to China I'm sure the local blue rinse brigade coulc have a whip round and pay for a trip to the far east for him, not too sure about whether they would fund a return ticket ,probably not.
If "Crispin" fancies a trip to China I'm sure the local blue rinse brigade coulc have a whip round and pay for a trip to the far east for him, not too sure about whether they would fund a return ticket ,probably not. Union Man
  • Score: -2

7:19am Tue 10 Jun 14

Crispin Mount says...

Besides the Chinese Communist Party the other 'donor' to this junket is Maurice Bennett, who runs the retail fashion giant Oasis and helps bankroll the Tory Party.
Besides the Chinese Communist Party the other 'donor' to this junket is Maurice Bennett, who runs the retail fashion giant Oasis and helps bankroll the Tory Party. Crispin Mount
  • Score: 2

9:15am Tue 10 Jun 14

hd-ciren says...

Given the dire state of Lib Dem party finances, I don't suppose Crispin would be too upset if they had a few more successful multi-millionaires "bankrolling" their party!
Given the dire state of Lib Dem party finances, I don't suppose Crispin would be too upset if they had a few more successful multi-millionaires "bankrolling" their party! hd-ciren
  • Score: 0

7:20am Thu 12 Jun 14

bobirving says...

GCB is a standard tory. He votes for almost everything on the party line, for the rich and against the very poor, against equality, against social justice. As far as I can see, he has done nothing to improve the quality of life for poorer people in his constituency, nothing to improve the environment, nothing to fight climate change, except when his government tells him to. It has taken him years to respond to the problem of flooding in Cirencester and he's only interested in free school meals because that's a new "initiative".

How Geoffrey Clifton-Brown voted: http://www.theyworkf
oryou.com/mp/10119/g
eoffrey_clifton-brow
n/the_cotswolds/vote
s
Voted very strongly against the hunting ban
Voted very strongly for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
Voted strongly against a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU
Voted strongly for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax")
Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
Voted very strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
Voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
Voted strongly against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed
Voted strongly for increasing the rate of VAT
Voted very strongly against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
Voted very strongly against a banker’s bonus tax
GCB is a standard tory. He votes for almost everything on the party line, for the rich and against the very poor, against equality, against social justice. As far as I can see, he has done nothing to improve the quality of life for poorer people in his constituency, nothing to improve the environment, nothing to fight climate change, except when his government tells him to. It has taken him years to respond to the problem of flooding in Cirencester and he's only interested in free school meals because that's a new "initiative". How Geoffrey Clifton-Brown voted: http://www.theyworkf oryou.com/mp/10119/g eoffrey_clifton-brow n/the_cotswolds/vote s Voted very strongly against the hunting ban Voted very strongly for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system Voted strongly against a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU Voted strongly for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax") Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices Voted very strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability Voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits Voted strongly against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed Voted strongly for increasing the rate of VAT Voted very strongly against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000 Voted very strongly against a banker’s bonus tax bobirving
  • Score: 3

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