Blackpool MP caught offering cash for access

The Times secretly filmed Tory MP Scott Benton

Blackpool South Tory MP Scott Benton has been secretly filmed in a sting by The Times offering to share market sensitive information, lobby ministers and work for a gambling business in parliament.

In a Times investigation reporters posed as partners in a fake company, TAHR partners, who were lobbying on behalf of the gambling industry.

The meetings took place at a hotel in central London in March.

In a damning secret recording of the meeting the Conservative MP was filmed offering to lobby ministers directly, and to share market sensitive information and ask questions on behalf of the businesses in parliament and to give the supposed Indian backed gambling client access to the white paper on gambling reform 48 hours before publication.

For this and other services Benton told the fake company, he would take payment of between £2,000 and £4,000 a month to help them. 

Benton, who has been facing pressure from local Conservative Councillors after endorsing controversial right wing candidates locally, claims he wasn’t aware that he was offering to do anything that broke parliamentary rules.

Elected in 2019, Benton is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gaming and Betting, and has asked multiple questions on gambling issues.

He has had the Conservative whip removed.

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