Philip Davies MP, who had recently accepted a prominent job in the industry, has denied criticism that he did that right before a long-awaited review of the country’s gambling legislation is to be carried out by the committee he was part of.
As Casino Guardian reported at the time, Mr Davies faced some criticism after some information emerged that he was hired by GVC Holdings, with the gambling company set to pay him £33,320 for just 84 hours of work. As the document confirming the appointment revealed, Mr Davies would have consultative and advisory functions on customer service and responsible gambling at GVC Holdings.
Media reports have revealed that he received his first payment worth £16,600 on August 27th. At the same time, he remained on his role at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s select committee, which has been the one responsible for managing the upcoming review of gambling regulation, until last week when the reports emerged.
Mr Davies reportedly received his second payment from the gambling company on October 2nd, 2020.
As Casino Guardian revealed at the time when the details about the two Members of Parliament’s appointments at gambling operators, the Labour MP Carolyn Harris asked whether such an appointment actually constituted a conflict of interest.
Davies MP Says His GVC Holdings’ Contract Included Anti-Lobbying Clause
A possible conflict of interest with Mr Davies’ position at GVC Holdings has been among the major concerns shared by campaigners.
Some records on the TheyWorkForYou.com website from 2005 to 2014 show that Mr Davies has normally voted against the further implementation of stricter regulatory rules on the UK gambling sector. According to the aforementioned website, on March 6th, 2020, the Member of Parliament raised a written question regarding gambling while he was still occupying his role at the select committee at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
At the time, he asked about the future plans of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to unveil the result of their consultation in Society Lotteries and the timetable for that. Furthermore, Mr Davies wanted to know whether that announcement was set to include the date for the new sales limits that are set to be imposed on society lotteries.
After facing an increased wave of criticism, Mr Davies said that The Guardian had been completely wrong on the issue regarding his position at the select committee. As explained by Mr Davies, according to the media hub, e had stepped aside from the DCMS’ select committee a few days before the report, which was “fundamentally untrue”.
In the first place, Mr Davies insisted that he never looked for a job at GVC Holdings. He shared that the gambling giant had approached him because of his experience in the field of player protection and customer service at a time when the operator had been on its way to improving these.
The Member of Parliament explained that he had left the select committee in the summer after handing in his resignation in order to avoid any of the now-alleged conflict of interest. He further explained that he had been replaced on his role at the committee only at the time media reports emerged and highlighted the fact that he had not taken part in any debates or decision-making process regarding gambling and gambling regulation before stepping down from his role there. In his opinion, his actions could not be considered a conflict of interest.
Mr Davies went further and revealed that he had insisted on signing a contract with GVC Holdings that included a clause that would have prevented him from doing any lobbying on behalf of the gambling giant. He said that he had not done any lobbying on the gambling operator’s part while occupying that role, which also excludes any conflict of interest.