Bracknell’s MP James Sunderland received free Formula 1 trips worth more than £11,000 in 2023, including a trip to the Bahrain Grand Prix paid for by the country’s crown prince.

Mr Sunderland received the gifts and free visits as part of his work with a committee of MPs championing British motorsport. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing.

Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa – who is also the prime minister –  paid for Mr Sunderland to visit the Grand Prix for three days in March, at a cost estimated to be around £9,500.

That’s according to the MPs’ register of interests, where elected parliamentary politicians have to publicly declare gifts, trips and donations.

The crown prince paid for return flights, three nights’ hotel accommodation and entry to the Grand Prix on a trip running between March 3 and March 6.

Mr Sunderland declared he’d been invited to visit as he is co-chair of the all party parliamentary group on motorsport. This is a group of MPs who debate and investigate the motorsport industry in Britain.

He said that his visit included several meetings with senior ministers in the Bahrain government, Formula 1, and race teams “to discuss pressing international and domestic issues in motorsport.”

Mr Sunderland also received a free ticket worth £1,650 to watch the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July 2023. The ticket was paid for by Silverstone Circuits Ltd.

Mr Sunderland told the News: “As Chair of the All Party Group for Motorsport, I travelled to Bahrain and Silverstone for cross-party meetings with F1 officials.

“The UK is the World leading nation for motorsport, which is worth over £10 billion to the economy, leads technological change and employs many thousands of people.”

In a separate trip, Mr Sunderland visited Malawi for three days in July as vice chair of the all party parliamentary group on malaria and neglected tropical diseases.

His declaration says the reason for the trip was to see the impact of malaria and tropical diseases in Malawi, and the challenges in tackling them. This was at an estimated cost of £2,430 paid for by the parliamentary group.

Mr Sunderland said told the News: “As Vice Chair of the All Party Group for Malaria, I visited Malawi with a group of Labour and SNP MPs to see the new UK vaccines in action.”

He added: “My interests are registered in strict accordance with Parliamentary rules. Not a single penny for any of these important visits fell to the taxpayer.”