By Harry Phibbs
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The Sunday Telegraph tomorrow names some of the MPs who joined Patrick Mercer's All Party Parliamentary Group on Fiji.
The paper reports:
It can be disclosed that the MPs he persuaded to join include Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee; his sister Valerie, also a Labour MP; Julian Brazier, a Conservative;
Mark Field, a Conservative; and Fabian Hamilton, a Labour MP who was said by colleagues to have agreed to be the group’s vice-chairman.
Mr Brazier, the Conservative MP for Canterbury, said:
“I’m very happy to sign up to all sorts of groups. I’ll go anywhere … I from time to time enjoy, very occasionally, doing a nice visit somewhere and if you join an APPG there’s always the possibility you may visit that country.”
I don't envy Mr Brazier having a nice visit somewhere. It may well be that in some modest way we are better governed as a result of him gaining an insight through such visits.But it becomes more dubious if the country concerned does not share our values – if it does not apply freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for private property, the market economy
The Sunday Times has named the Labour peer and former cabinet minister Lord Cunningham another Labour peer Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate and the Ulster Unionist peer Lord Laird as having "offered to become paid advocates for a firm pushing for new laws to benefit its business. They also said they could set up an all party parliamentary group as a lobbying vehicle.”