Investigation after complaint received about MP’s trip gift

MP Philip Davies – whose Shipley constituency includes Cullingworth and Denholme – has admitted he may have slipped up as parliament’s watchdog probes a paid-for trip he took to the Cheltenham Festival.

The parliamentary standards commissioner is investigating a complaint the Tory backbencher failed to fully declare hospitality worth an estimated £870.

Mr Davies – a keen horse racing fan – visited Cheltenham in March 2011, as a guest of bookmaker Ladbrokes.

But he failed to mention the gift when, seven months later, he quizzed Richard Glynn, the chief executive of Ladbrokes, during a select committee session.

Mr Davies is a prominent member of the culture, media and sport select committee, which carried out a year-long investigation into the betting trade. He said: “I probably should have mentioned the Cheltenham visit at the committee.

“However, there was no attempt to conceal anything. It also made no difference whatsoever to the inquiry the committee carried out or the report, which was agreed unanimously.”

Mr Davies said he had offered his resignation to the committee, but none of the other members believed he should quit.

A second complaint relates to an annual subscription Mr Davies receives from Peninsula Business Services, to cover any costs relating to industrial tribunals.

The company is run by Peter Done whose brother founded BetFred, the bookmaker that took over the Tote.

Mr Davies has argued it was not relevant to declare the subscription.

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