A SENIOR Tory MP has boasted about lobbying the UK Government with "propaganda fed” to him by the Azerbaijani embassy, it has been revealed.

OpenDemocracy obtained audio from a podcast in which Bob Blackman said he put down “positions on behalf of our good friends in Azerbaijan” on a “regular basis”.

The news outlet said the MP, who is an executive secretary of the Conservative's influential 1922 Committee, has taken seven free trips to Azerbaijan since 2011.

The three most recent trips were paid for by the Azerbaijani parliament or its London embassy.

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In 2020, Blackman lobbied then foreign secretary Dominic Raab to take Azerbaijan’s side during its dispute with Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Thousands are believed to have died during the conflict. Both sides of the conflict have been accused of committing war crimes.

Blackman has also tabled four pro-Azerbaijan motions in the House of Commons since 2020 and has written to current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to urge her to strengthen the UK’s ties with the nation.

OpenDemocracy reports that except for one incident, Blackman failed to mention that he had accepted hospitality connected to the Azerbaijani government just a year prior.

Blackman told the student-run Eye To Eye podcast in July 2020: “On a regular basis I put down positions on behalf of our good friends in Azerbaijan, early day motions on these subjects.

"One of the things that happens, I’m afraid, in these types of conflicts is that ... whoever gets the best propaganda tends to grab the attention of the listeners and the viewers.

“And in this regard I’ve been fed the information through the Azerbaijan embassy in the UK – so they’ve been very, very helpful, very, very proactive from the word go when the hostilities began on July 12 I was getting information straight away and that's why I tabled the early day motions and why we did as much media as we could."

The Harrow East MP has received a number of briefings from top-level figures in the oil-rich country, including Azerbaijani MP Javanshir Feyziyev.

Feyziyev was recently at the centre of a court case where £5.6 million worth of laundered money was ordered to be seized from his family’s bank account.

Before the court case Blackman invited Feyziyev to the Commons – despite suspicions at the time around suspect cash.

On Monday, the Magistrates’ Court at Westminster found that £5.6m held in UK bank accounts by Feyziyev’s family could be traced back to the "Azerbaijani Laundromat", a $2.9 billion money-laundering scheme run by Azerbaijan’s ruling class. They ordered that it be seized.

While Feyziyev and his family were not implicated in any personal wrongdoing the judge found “there have been unhealthy, corrupt links between the ‘ruling elite’ of Azerbaijan and those at the helm of Avromed LLC”, a company founded by Feyziyev.

Steve Goodrich from anti-corruption group Transparency International UK told openDemocracy: “Allowing MPs and Lords to have all-expenses-paid trips by foreign governments is a recipe for disaster and should be stopped.

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“The proximity with which corrupt and repressive regimes can work alongside UK parliamentarians with the view of laundering their reputations is deeply disturbing.”

Feyziyev told openDemocracy: “I reiterate in the strongest terms that neither I nor my family members have ever been involved in any illegal acts in any country – a point emphasised by the NCA [National Crime Agency] during the first day of the hearing and by [District Judge John Zani] in his ruling.”

Feyziyev said the funds in his family’s UK bank accounts had come from a “completely legitimate source”.

Blackman, the Conservative Party and the UK Government have failed to respond to requests for comment.