Former health secretary Matt Hancock and former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng reportedly fell for a campaign group’s deception and agreed to work for a fictitious South Korean company for £10,000 a day.
Kwarteng showed up for a preliminary meeting in his parliamentary office and declared that he did not need to be paid a “king’s ransom,” but he did agree in principle to be paid the daily fee.
Hancock answered when asked what his daily rate was, “It’s 10,000 sterling.”
The 1922 Committee’s chairman, Sir Graham Brady, participated in an online meeting for the fictitious foreign company from his parliamentary office.
When questioned about the restrictions on scheduling meetings, he made it clear that he could not speak for the interest but said that he might be able to suggest to the company which government officials to contact.
A public registry would keep track of any payments, he said, adding that a daily rate of roughly £6,000 “feels about right.”
The alleged company that contacted the legislators didn’t exist and had a crude foreign website with made-up recommendations.
The Home Office has reportedly cautioned MPs to be vigilant about the “threat of foreign interference,” and the group’s analysis showed how simple it appeared to be for them to acquire access to the MPs.
Led by Donkeys is believed to have contacted 20 MPs from the Conservative party, Labour party, and Liberal Democrats after looking at the outside incomes of MPs listed on the parliamentary register of interests, according to the Guardian.
In an email, the fictitious investment and consulting company Hanseong Consulting stated that it was looking for members for an international advisory board to “help our clients navigate the shifting political, regulatory and legislative frameworks” in the UK and Europe.