Reading between the lines, it would appear that the idea of boycotting COP6 - despite simultaneously talking tough on applying sanctions on Russia - didn't even cross the UK government's mind.
Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations his Department received urging them to boycott the conference of the parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Jane Ellison (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health; Battersea, Conservative)
The Department received no such representations.Well, they certainly received many comments on Twitter suggesting just such a course of action, but I suppose we don't count.
USA refused to go, Canada was 'proud' not to attend, and even Australia considered it, but the Department of Health ignored all that. So eager were they to be welcomed by Putin and do the complementary tour of Soviet monuments, they happily flew there and put all thoughts of air passengers being shot down in transit behind them.
Our Phil also asked a question about how much it cost us as taxpayers. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't reckon Ellison answered the question adequately here.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much his Department spent on attendance at the conference of the parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Moscow; and whose travel, accommodation and other expenses related to attendance at the conference his Department paid for.
The sixth Conference of the Parties (COP) of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was held in Moscow over 13-18 October 2014. To be able to participate in the full range of business at the COP, the United Kingdom was represented by two officials.
The United Kingdom’s delegation travelled on economy class flights to Moscow and stayed during the COP in the hotel where the conference was held, however total costs are not yet available.The question requested two answers; who went and how much it cost. It seems that Ellison doesn't want to say who went and - incredibly - doesn't yet know how much it cost!
We do now know, though, that the two delegates - Andrew Black and one other - stayed not in just any hotel. No, they stayed in the most expensive one. Well, if you're breaking sanctions you may as well take the right royal piss, eh?
Remember that the question allowed Ellison to sidestep the attendance of ASH's Deborah Arnott - also a beneficiary of your taxes - who went claiming to be the vaper's friend, but returned clutching a recommendation that e-cigs should be summarily crushed after a summit which was conducted in the midst of staggering censorship, denial of free speech, bribery, bullying, and abuse of democracy. Which expensive hotel she stayed in while selling out is not yet clear.
Hopefully, Mr Davies will keep prodding this blistering sore in the heart of government. The actions of Department of Health officials are starting to look a lot like institutionalised treachery.