This week’s Westminster Accounts publication of MPs’ donations not only debunks the common antisemitic slur against the so-called ‘Israel-lobby’, but figures reveal that one MP received £37,000 from an anti-Israel Palestinian campaign group.
MP Crispin Blunt has received £37,270 in payments and gifts from the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians since December 2019.
In addition to the amount received by Mr Blunt, the the Westminster Accounts also revealed around £10,000 in donations Medical Aid for Palestinians spread across seven MPs. In contrast, Israel-related organisations – outside of the Parties’ own parliamentary pro-Israel groups – accounted for just £6,600 in total donations.
All the information on donations is available through parliament’s register of interests, but Sky News and Tortoise Media have collated all the figures for the first time in one database, with total sums and details of which MPs are receiving and from whom.
In 2021, Crispin Blunt, the MP for Reigate faced, calls to have the whip removed after he suggested terrorist group Hamas had the right to hit “legitimate targets” in Israel during a parliamentary debate.
He has also previously said that banning Hamas would have a “terrible chilling effect” in the region.
The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, the organisation behind the donations to Mr Blunt, made headlines last year after the NGO warned former Prime Minister Liz Truss that moving the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be met with legal action.
In May this year, Blunt announced he will stand down at the next general election. In a statement posted on his website, he said that after “seven increasingly tumultuous parliaments, this will be my last”.
He entered Parliament in 1997 and has served as a justice minister and as chair of the foreign affairs select committee.
Announcing his decision to quit, Mr Blunt said: “In looking forward to the next two years or so of this parliament, whilst securing my re-election is no longer an interest, there will be continued joy in representing the citizens I’ve had the honour to serve for 25 years.”
The database, called the Westminster Accounts, compiles records from the MPs’ Register of Interests, the Electoral Commission and other official registers and aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the financing of British politics since the last election.