In the summer Parliamentary recess I led a delegation of MPs to Equatorial Guinea. This was undertaken at no cost to the taxpayer and in my own time. We went with open minds and were determined to report honestly on what we found. Our report was duly published and can be read here.
After we returned, the Labour MP Paul Flynn criticised us for going on the trip because it was paid for by the government of Equatorial Guinea. We had always been open about this but if you read the report you will see that we let nothing other than the facts come into our judgement of the country and its rulers.
Mr Flynn did not accept that using the money of a despotic government to shed light on the appalling way they run their country was a better way of spending it than on designer clothes, jewellery and expensive cars for their ruling elite.
After Mr Flynn aired his views about our trip to several national newspapers without talking to me to find out why we went and what we found out, I must admit to feeling a small sense of schadenfreude today after it has been revealed that Mr Flynn is accused of gross anti-Semitism and will be, according to one of his Labour colleagues, ‘summarily retired’ at the next election.
However, I wish Mr Flynn no ill. I just hope he now realises that his first phone call should have been to me or one of the other people involved rather than a journalist.