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Communist party helps fund MP Richard Harrington's China trip
The Chinese Communist Party, Barclays bank, Rolls-Royce and oil giant BP all helped fund a trip to China for Watford’s MP Richard Harrington.
The parliamentary register of interests showed the International Department of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China paid for the Conservative backbencher’s £376 accommodation during the three-day stay in January.
It also shows the £3,196 cost of his business class fights were paid for by the three companies via the UK-China Forum Ltd company.
The trip was part of the UK China Leadership Forum, at which Mr Harrington says he was drumming up Chinese business for the town.
The register describes the forum as an "annual event organised by the Great Britain-China Centre to further mutual understanding and strengthen UK-China relations".
Mr Harrington told the Watford Observer that as a result of the visit a Chinese delegation had taken an interest in the BRE research company, based in Garston.
He said: "China is so important for the future and I think Watford needs to be a part of it.
"At the end of the day all I can try and do is promote Watford. All you read about these days is China, China, China, but there is not much action in Watford. I am hoping to change that. Even a small company can export to China."
The updated register of interest also showed in May Mr Harrington received a donation worth £7,500 from Kerry London Ltd, an insurance brokers based in the City of London.
During the time covered by the register Mr Harrington earned £6,764.33 for 34 hours work as director of Eden Group Ltd between January until October 2012.
According to the register Mr Harrington owns shares in two companies Eden PLC Wealth Management and Harvington Properties Ltd.
The register also showed the MP also has joint ownership of five rented buy-to-let properties.
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