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MPs have enjoyed more than £60,000 worth of freebies to COVID-19 test events this summer – including tickets to England’s games at Euro 2020.

According to parliament’s latest register of interests, MPs have been given free tickets to football matches at Wembley, Wimbledon tennis, Royal Ascot and the Brit Awards.

All have been part of the government’s Events Research Programme, with the pilot events used to assess how large events can be staged safely as COVID restrictions are eased.

Wimbledon's Court One will be at full capacity from Tuesday
Wimbledon was also among the government’s test events

So far, 13 MPs have registered getting free tickets to Euro 2020 matches, which were worth a total of more than £30,000.

These included England’s group game against the Czech Republic, as well as their knockout clashes with Germany and Denmark and final defeat against Italy.

Six MPs enjoyed a day out at Wimbledon for free, worth more than £6,000, and six MPs were also donated tickets to Royal Ascot, worth more than £9,000.

The Brit Awards in May were also a popular outing for MPs, with 10 MPs being given free tickets worth £8,600 to what was the UK’s first major indoor live music event for more than a year.

More on Euro 2020

MPs enjoyed their free tickets to the government test events thanks to a range of donors, including gambling firms, industry groups, Heineken beer, Google, event organisers and individual donors.

Among the MPs to register free tickets, Conservative backbenchers Philip Davies and Esther McVey, who married last year, both attended England’s Euro 2020 games against Czech Republic and Denmark, a day at Wimbledon, and a day at Royal Ascot.

Dua Lipa performs during the Brit Awards 2021
The Brit Awards was the UK’s first major indoor live music event for more than a year

The largest donations registered were from Mr Davies, Ms McVey, fellow Tory MPs Laurence Robertson and Scott Benton, and Labour’s Toby Perkins.

All five were given tickets and hospitality to England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark at Wembley, which they registered as being worth £3,457 each.

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Hong Kong regulator blocks access to two crypto entities, warning of fraud




Hong Kong regulator blocks access to two crypto entities, warning of fraud

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has issued a warning related to suspected fraud involving crypto entities Hong Kong Digital Research Institute and BitCuped.

In a Dec. 6 notice, the SFC said the Hong Kong Police Force had blocked access to the websites of BitCuped and Hong Kong Digital Research Institute — also known as HongKongDAO — claiming users could be fooled into making illegitimate investments. The regulator also issued cease-and-desist letters to the firms’ website operators.

“The SFC suspects HongKongDAO may be disseminating false and misleading information about itself and its business through online channels,” said the Dec. 6 notice. “The SFC notes that BitCuped claims on its website that ‘Laura Cha’ and ‘Nicolas Aguzin’ serve as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer respectively, when in fact none of them has any affiliations with BitCuped.”

Related: Hong Kong authorities say 145 victims, $18.9M lost in Hounax scam

According to the SFC, the “misleading” information related to HongKongDAO could encourage individuals to believe its services were “properly licensed and legitimate” and invest in the HKD token. The securities regulatory added that Cha and Aguzin were executives with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong rather than connected to BitCuped.

In October, the SFC announced it planned to update its policies on digital currency sales and requirements, citing market developments and industry feedback. Starting in June 2024, exchanges operating within Hong Kong must have a virtual asset service provider license with the SFC.

Magazine: Another $18.9M Hong Kong exchange scandal, HTX ‘sorry’ airdrop: Asia Express