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Standards Commissioner email address:
Here is a sample subject line: Investigate conduct of Bob Blackman MP
Here is a sample letter:
Kathryn Stone OBE
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
February 15, 2022
Dear Ms Stone OBE,
I am writing to you to complain about the conduct of Mr Bob Blackman MP. I believe that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Mr Blackman, both in his capacity as a Member of Parliament for Harrow East and as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Republic of Azerbaijan, has on multiple occasions breached provisions of Part V of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament, justifying an inquiry by the Commissioner.
According to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, since 2011 Mr Blackman has taken numerous trips to the Republic of Azerbaijan, an autocratic state at the centre of an international money-laundering and political bribery operation known as the “Azerbaijani laundromat”. All of Mr Blackman’s trips have been fully funded by the Azerbaijani government. He most recently visited Azerbaijan and the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in February 2020 and November 2021.
On 13 July 2020 in the House of Commons, Mr Blackman tabled Early-Day Motion 717, the terms of which sought to exclusively benefit the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This is despite the fact that Mr Blackman had been provided with a trip to Azerbaijan less than six months prior. Mr Blackman also tabled EDM 956 on 1 October 2020, EDM 1120 on 11 November 2020, and EDM 757 on 8 December 2021, all pro-Azerbaijan motions. In tabling these three motions, Mr Blackman did not draw attention to his financial interest in Azerbaijan, breaching Part V of the Code. Mr Blackman also wrote letters to former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in October 2020 and December 2021 respectively, making pro-Azerbaijan representations without drawing attention to his funded trips, again breaching Part V of the Code. It is not sufficient that he signed his letters as chair of the APPG, as that does not disclose or imply a financial interest.
On 5 July 2021, Mr Blackman MP appeared as an interviewee on Episode 12 of the “Eye to Eye” podcast. During this podcast he said “On a regular basis I put down positions on behalf of our good friends in Azerbaijan”, and “One of the things that happens, I’m afraid, in these types of conflicts is that… whoever gets the best propaganda tends to grab the attention of the listeners and the viewers… And in this regard, I’ve been fed the information through the Azerbaijan embassy in the UK – so they’ve been very, very helpful, very, very proactive from the word go when the hostilities began on 12 July.”
May I refer you to the report from Open Democracy on 5th February 2022, featured in several national newspapers, that Bob Blackman was ‘fed’ propaganda by Azerbaijani embassy for parliamentary debates:
These comments are cause for serious concern. Where an MP openly admits to putting “down positions on behalf of” and “being fed” propaganda by a foreign government, there has clearly been a breach of multiple provisions of Part V of the Code, especially where that MP has for ten years been provided with extensive hospitality by that foreign government.
He has repeatedly condemned Armenia, sometimes literally parroting, and quoting statements by Azerbaijan’s foreign policy adviser, Hikmat Hajiyev.
Mr. Blackman has also liaised closely with Azerbaijani MP (of the Republic of Azerbaijan) and Chair of UK-Azerbaijan Interparliamentary Working Group, Mr. Javanshir Feyziyev. Mr Feyziyev was at the centre of a number of investigations conducted by the NCA (National Crime Agency) into the financial affairs of Azerbaijani figures within the UK. Having obtained freezing orders in respect of Mr Feyziyev’s accounts, on 31 January 2022 the NCA were granted a Forfeiture Order at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, seizing £5.6 million from bank accounts belonging to Mr Feyziyev and his family, on the basis that the funds were derived from the Azerbaijani laundromat and as such were recoverable property.
I believe that there is enough evidence to open an inquiry into Mr. Blackman’s conduct.
Thank you in advance for reading my complaint. I trust that you will take action appropriately.