WEST Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has explained an apparent ‘late entry’ to his House of Commons register of financial interests covering a visit to China more than four years ago.

The five-day trip to Taishan took place in November, 2018, but has only recently appeared in Mr Liddell-Grainger’s register as a ‘rectification procedure’.

The value of the visit was put at nearly £10,000, with the cost being met by China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN).

CGN is a Chinese State-owned enterprise run by an arm of China’s State Council and is funding approximately one-third of the cost of building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, with French energy company EDF holding the remaining share.

Mr Liddell-Grainger was part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), an informal cross-party group of MPs and Peers, which flew to China to look at the type of nuclear reactor, an EPR, which was to be used for Hinkley C.

It took place about 18 months after construction of Hinkley C had begun, with APPG members visiting CGN's Taishan nuclear plant and meeting company officials and senior representatives of the Guangdong Provisional People’s Congress.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “When we came back I put the entry in the register on behalf of the APPG in my name.

“Now, after three years they have come back to say it has to be done in individual names, so that is what I have done.“It is not personal cash, it is flights, hotels, food, and everything else.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger said the knowledge gained from the visit was of enormous value to the Parliamentarians.

He said: “This was before the heavy work started at Hinkley Point C so we were able to see what an EPR looked like and talk to the engineers who were building them.

“We were able to look very openly at how the company works and how the EPR works.“It was extremely useful, and at the time, CGN were very popular with the British Government.”