From a report in the Times newspaper
‘Professor David Miller, director of Spinwatch, which campaigns for transparency in lobbying, said: “This is yet another case of a clear conflict of interest with an MEP and his commercial links. Every time this happens people lose faith in the European project. If they want to restore trust in the EU, politicians should give up all commercial lobbying activity when they become an MEP.”’
Was it really so shocking? Nirj Deva went to a conference on aid. While he was there, he went to a meeting to promote a bio-degradable plastic bag, made by a company he works for. Nobody has claimed that his contribution to the conference was in any way affected by his other interests. Miller demands that MEPs give up commercial activities, but plainly has no intention of giving up his own commercial and lobbying activities – however much these bring the University of Strathclyde into disrepute.
Plainly the Times understood that this was an opportunity to get a photograph of an asian MEP in the newspaper with a corruption tag, and Professor Miller was too happy to oblige.