SHIPLEY MP Philip Davies has defended himself against claims he took a gambling job before a review of betting laws by the committee he was a member of.

The accusation stemmed from newly-published parliamentary disclosures, showing how Ladbrokes owner, GVC Holdings, paid Philip Davies £33,320 for a total of 84 hours of work.

The log acts as a register of members’ financial interests as of October 26, 2020.

According to the document, Mr Davies’ role saw him “providing advice on responsible gambling and customer service”.

In an article published by The Guardian, it was claimed he took his first instalment of £16,600 on August 27 but “did not step down as a member of the select committee for digital, culture, media and sport, the department managing the forthcoming review of gambling regulation, until this week”.

The second payment was issued on October 2, 2020.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, parliamentary private secretary to the party leader, Keir Starmer, told The Guardian: “There’s a conflict of interest here, isn’t there?”

Between 2005 and 2014, records on show Mr Davies has generally voted against greater regulation of gambling.

According to, the MP last raised a written question on gambling whilst in his committee role, on March 6, 2020.

He asked about “when the Gambling Commission plans to announce the outcome of their consultation into Society Lotteries; and whether that announcement will include the implementation date for the new society lottery sales limits”.

Mr Davies, whose constituency includes Burley and Menston, said: “The Guardian was completely wrong in one important regard. They said I only stepped aside from the select committee earlier this week and that is fundamentally untrue.

“I stood down from the select committee in the Summer in order to avoid any conflict of interest. Lots of people are on select committees. With the start of every select committee people will go round and declare conflicts of interests.

“I decided to, to go above and beyond in terms of duty, I handed in my resignation in the Summer. I reacted in a way no MP probably ever would do in order to avoid conflict of interest.

“I was replaced on the committee this week.

“I only did it for a short period of time and at no time during that point did I take part in any debates or decisions about gambling so there’s no conflict of interest. I don’t see how anyone could say there is.

“In the contract I signed I explicitly insisted that a clause was put in there to say that I would be forbidden from doing any lobbying on behalf of GVC, which is completely against the rules . I insisted that could be put into the contract. I haven’t done any lobbying on behalf of GVC while I had that role and never would have done. There’s clearly no conflict of interest.”

Mr Davies said he was approached for the role based on his experience in customer service with Asda before he became an MP.

“I didn’t ask for a job with GVC, they approached me because they were committed to improving their customer service and player protection and because of my experience in this field and customer service, which I worked in for years before I became an MP, so why would I not take the opportunity to ensure these companies do better to protect their customers? Why would I not try help them in that regard? That’s going to benefit my constituents. I was very happy to help them in doing that. I hope the gambling industry does more like that so we don’t need lots of laws in place. They had their own house in order.

“I can’t really see why I would refuse to help them improve their player protection and customer service?”