Having read this -
- it seems to me that there are a few questions Matthew Offord MP may like to answer
1 when did you go to Belize? ( there have been two differing accounts in the local papers, one says before and one after the riots started)
2 who is paying for the trip and how much is it costing?
3 if it is an official trip, why is it so long? (normally they would be 4 to 5 days at most and they don’t happen in August)
4 Were you invited to go and if so by whom, and when?
5 Are you a member of the All Party Group for Belize? If so, when did you join?
6 Why is Belize interested in your views on counter terrorism, when the FCO website says there is no specific terrorism problem and easy research on the internet reveals that Belize has had only 1 attack between 1968 and 2006 and is ranked the 161st safest country for terrorism out of 165?
7 what specific knowledge and expertise do you have on counter terrorism ?
8 what specific knowledge and expertise do you have of illegal drugs and trafficking in them ?
9 what specific knowledge and expertise do you have of hurricanes?
11 How does your experience on counter terrorism compare with your predecessor, former MP Andrew Dismore? (Dismore had an international reputation as an expert for parliamentary work on terrorism in the UK based on his work to expose extremism prior to 9/11 and was asked to go to New York to meet the police and FBI there and for talks with the US counter terrorism command at West Point the year after 9/11)
12 If this was official parliamentary business, what support in organising the visit was given by the House authorities?
13 Who did you meet, on what dates, and how long were the meetings?
14 When were the meetings arranged ( presumably such meeting would be set up in advance for something as serious as this?
15 Will you release any emails, notes or correspondence relating to organising the meetings?
16 What dealings with Lord Ashcroft have you had or have been had on your behalf ( as he is based in Belize for tax and business purposes)?
17 Will you register the visit in the register of members’ interests and if not, why not?
18 With hindsight do you now regret not returning to the UK when riots hit Hendon?
19 With hindsight do you now regret not returning to the UK when Parliament was recalled?
20 How do you think your conduct compares with former MP Andrew Dismore, who cancelled his participation in an official recess Parliamentary visit he was scheduled to lead to the Caribbean the week after Kiyan Prince was murdered, so he was available to his constituents at a time of local tension?
21 Was your wife on the trip ( and if so who was looking after Max the dog ) ?
22 How is the soup in Belize?
I think the people of Hendon deserve answers to a few of these questions. One can only wonder what Dismore makes of all this. I hope Matthew doesn't work too hard on his trip and manages at least one cocktail on the beach in amongst all of that hard work.