In an undercover sting operation, carried out by reporters from The Times, MP Scott Benton of Blackpool South was recorded stating that he would accept a monthly payment in exchange for using his powers as an MP to break parliamentary lobbying rules. The meeting took place in Central London, where the reporters from The Times posed as investors who were seeking an advisor and told Benton that they were from the Betting and Gaming industry.
The breaking news was reported this evening, with an article from the Times posting the accompanying video in which Mr Benton can clearly be seen offering to use hisdirect access to ministers, who he meets with “two or three times a week” to provide an instant response to tabled questions. He confirmed during the meeting that no one outside of the political arena had the same powers. He also offered to leak the upcoming gamboling white paper 48 hours prior to it being published.
During the meeting, Benton agreed a figure of £2000 to £4,000 per month for the services that he was offering.
Benton, who met with Waterloo ward hopeful Christopher Higgit today, has been MP for Blackpool South since 2019. This isn’t the first time that the former Calderdale councillor has faced scrutiny, as an investigation was launched in 2020 with relation to his conduct and finances.