This is the value of Sheffield MPs’ overseas trips over the last year

Sheffield MPs clocked up overseas trips worth more than £6,000 in the last year, parliamentary records have revealed.

Gill Furniss, MP for Brightside and Hillsborough, flew to Qatar in February, while Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh made visits to Israel and Poland.

Gill Furniss, MP for Brightside & Hillsborough. Picture: Andrew Roe/The Star

Gill Furniss, MP for Brightside & Hillsborough. Picture: Andrew Roe/The Star

The expeditions, which were paid for by their hosts and linked to parliamentary business, were revealed in Parliament’s expenses register.

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It details costs in the years before and after the 2017 general election of all MPs visits.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central and independent MP for Sheffield Hallam Jared O’Mara registered no trips within the time period.

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP.

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP.

Ms Furniss, who is also shadow minister for steel, postal affairs, and consumer protection flew to Qatar as part of the British-Qatar all party parliamentary group at a cost to the Qatar Embassy of £4,600.

She said: “In February 2018 I joined other members of the British-Qatar APPG on a fact finding visit to the country. During the visit we met ministers and officials, discussed the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) crisis, and bilateral relations and regional issues all of which are important topics often raised in the UK Parliament.

“The trip also allowed me to raise the issue of women’s rights directly with the Emir and his Ministers. We also met with officials working on the Qatar World Cup where we discussed the country’s health and safety record and urged them to ensure a fair deal for migrant workers.”

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Paul Blomfield MP for Sheffield Central.

Paul Blomfield MP for Sheffield Central.

Ms Haigh visited West Bank and Israel in February on a ‘fact-finding visit organised by the Council for Arab-British Understanding and Medical Aid for Palestinians to promote beter understanding between Britain and the Middle East.

The trip cost Medical Aid for Palestinians £854 for Ms Haigh’s fights, accommodation, food and transport.

In May, Ms Haigh, who is also the shadow policing minister, and a member of staff flew to Auschwitz, Poland.

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Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts

The trip was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust, and she accompanied a class of schoolchildren as part os its ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project with schools.

Ms Haigh said: “On some occasions it supports my work as an MP to conduct visits. For example, as shadow policing minister I visit forces across the UK to learn from the frontline about the reality on the ground and to develop policy accordingly.

“Every week there are various foreign policy issues that we have to debate in Parliament and on rare occasions it’s helpful to visit the relevant region to inform my work.

“All the expenses declared are in relation to travel and accommodation from independent sources, not a penny of taxpayer’s money is spent.

“I was honoured to accompany schoolchildren form across Europe as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project and I have since been working closely with schools in my constituency to help roll the project out.

“At a time of deep uncertainty I think projects like this are vital to teach tolerance and respect and to guard against prejudice and hatred.”

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara.

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara.