Treasury minister Alan Mak received thousands from defence giant Lockheed Martin. He says he doesn't need to declare it.
- Treasury minister Alan Mak took payments from businesses for his jobs fair over several years.
- He got £2,500 from Lockheed Martin in at least one instance, and £1,500 from Temerko-backed Aquind.
A Treasury minister received undeclared payments from Lockheed Martin and Aquind, raising concerns about a possible conflict of interests.
Alan Mak, who was made Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury by Boris Johnson during July's leadership crisis, set up a community account shortly after becoming the MP for Havant in 2015 to fund events and other constituency-based work, three sources said.
They estimated the total funds raised from various companies to be low five figures. Insider has granted the people anonymity to speak frankly.
Defence giant Lockheed Martin made multiple payments that went into the account, the sources said. On at least one occasion in 2018 the aerospace firm, which has a base in Mak's constituency, paid £2,500.
Insider has verified the details, but is not giving further detail to protect its sources.
The same sources said Mak had received cash from Aquind, a proposed £1.2 billion cross-Channel power cable project part-owned by Tory donor Alexander Temerko.
One told Insider the firm had given £1,500 in February 2018. This was confirmed by a spokesman for Aquind.
The source added: "You will note the Aquind interconnector was publicly opposed by all the other local MPs – [Labour's] Stephen Morgan, [Conservatives] Penny Mordaunt and Flick Drummond, and all the others on the route, including the local authorities.
"He is the only person who didn't oppose it in the local political scene… [But] I don't think it was because he received money from Aquind. Alan is always unwilling to wade into controversial subjects generally."
Mak's reluctance to speak out against the Aquind project has not gone unnoticed by his constituents, with one having written to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng complaining about the potential disruption and Mak's inaction.
Other local businesses "regularly" contribute to Mak's events, sources said, although the amounts do not appear to have crossed the threshold.
Under parliamentary rules, MPs must declare "donations or other support" of more than £1,500 received from a single source in a calendar year, including for "financial support and sponsorship".
The rules also state that they should consider declaring any interests or material benefit that "might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member of Parliament".
Mak told Insider: "I actively sought advice from the registrar and discussed the issue of contributions to community events such as my jobs & apprenticeships fairs and I followed the guidance given on registration, in particular regarding the purchasing of services such as adverts and branding.
"I am confident I have followed the rules at all times. My Jobs & Apprenticeship Fairs have helped local people into work, and I am proud of my other local community events and projects which benefit my constituents."
Mak has made several glowing comments about Lockheed during Commons debates, including one in July 2018 when he invited then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to meet the firm to "ensure that the new combat air strategy benefits the south coast".
In 2020, he wrote a column for The Times, praising the firm for its work during the pandemic.
Separately, the firm has donated £20,000 to the now-defunct Fourth Industrial Revolution APPG, which was chaired by Mak until he became a minister, according to its register.
In 2017, Mak posted a video on Facebook highlighting a "big reception" he had organised for the APPG on the terrace at Westminster, enabling Lockheed Martin "to showcase their new Outrider drone" to MPs.
Mak's website and social-media posts show that his annual jobs fair has received support from both Aquind and Lockheed Martin. Other events, including an older persons' information fair, also highlight involvement from the defence giant.
—Alan Mak MP (@AlanMakMP) February 15, 2018
There is no reference to Mak's community account in his register of interests. Use of community accounts in Westminster is not widespread, although at least one other MP has declared a £2,500 donation into theirs.
Mak's website highlights various initiatives including offering constituents Union or St George's flags, which will "be sent free by Alan" to those who request one. "No taxpayers' money has been spent on the flag or postage," the website states. He also runs a local business awards scheme with funds raised through the community account.
Transparency International's Steve Goodrich said: "MPs must declare their financial interests in a timely manner to provide full transparency over potential conflicts between their public and private affairs. Whether it's payment for services, political donations or anything else that the public might think influences their role as a Member of Parliament, this should be a matter of record.
"Failure to be full and frank about any payment or benefit received can give the impression there is something to hide."
A spokesman for Aquind told Insider: "In 2018 Aquind was one of the chief sponsors of a job fair that Alan Mak was running in his constituency. The reason Aquind contributed to this was because Aquind is in general happy to support local community endeavours. There were a handful of other companies and local organisations that were co-sponsors, too."
A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin said: "As an employer of high value jobs in the UK, Lockheed Martin is a long-standing supporter of community initiatives focused on building small, medium enterprises and investing in growing the talent pipeline. With a strict code of conduct for business ethics, all of our sponsorships and contributions are made in compliance with relevant laws and regulations."
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