Labour MPs including members of Keir Starmer‘s front bench are coming under increased scrutiny over their additional earnings from second jobs on top of their taxpayer provided salaries.
David Lammy, the Secretary of State for Justice, is among the party’s top earners – pocketing more than £140,000 over three years including fees for speeches at Google, Facebook and City giants including Deloitte, Citibank and Swiss pharma giant Novartis.
A MailOnline analysis of receipts which Mr Lammy publishes regularly in accordance with Commons’ rules found his biggest earner was presenting a regular LBC show, which brought in more than £40,000.
And Labour leader Keir Starmer is also in on the act, banking £25,934.10 in legal fees that he earned before becoming Labour leader in the last year alone despite standing on a manifesto pledging to end MPs’ second jobs in 2019. The fees were for 106 hours’ work, equating to £247 per hour.
Mr Starmer considered taking a consultancy job at law firm Miscon de Reya in 2017 but turned it down. The year before, he was paid £18,000 for just 24 hours work with the firm.
That same year, he receved £10,000 for advising the government of Gibraltar. A spokesman for the British Overseas Territory insisted the brief involved ‘non-political matters unrelated to Brexit’.
David Lammy, the Secretary of State for Justice, has earned more than £141,000 over three years for speeches at Google, Facebook and Deloitte. He is seen at the Labour conference
Other Labour MPs with second jobs include Khalid Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, who advises think-tank the Policy Exchange on issues including extremism for £25,000 a year.
Margaret Hodge has a £20,000-a-year role at Royal Holloway University and Dan Jarvis is paid £79,000 to serve as Metro Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.
Meanwhile, Christ Bryant received £2,000 for speaking at an event for Goldman Sachs.
Today it emerged that former attorney general Geoffrey Cox QC has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds advising the government of the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven accused of corruption.
There have been fresh calls to reform the regulation surrounding MPs’ second jobs after a botched attempt by the government to block the suspension of disgraced Tory MP Owen Paterson over a lobbying scandal.
In the latest revelation today, it emerged that former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell is paid £182,000 on top of his MP’s salary of just under £82,000 for six different consultancy jobs.
He is one of 30 MPs earning thousands of pounds extra a year for work as consultants – prompting calls for the practice to be banned.
The ex-international development secretary is paid for working for wealth manager Investec for two days a year and strategic consultancy Montrose Associates for eight days a year.
He also advises consultants Ernst & Young for up to five days a year, investment managers Arch Emerging Markets Partners Ltd for 2.5 days, investment bank SouthBridge for nine days and private equity firm Kingsley Capital Partners for eight days.
Tory MP and former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson quit the Commons last week after a row over a report that found he committed an ‘egregious’ breach of a centuries-old ban on paid lobbying by MPs.
Boris DID make it back to London in time for Commons sleaze showdown
By James Tapsfield, Political Editor for MailOnline
Boris Johnson is facing fresh Tory demands to make a personal apology for the Owen Paterson sleaze shambles amid claims he dodged a showdown in parliament last night despite being back in London from a visit to the North East.
The PM is at the mercy of a storm over the extraordinary bid to save his ally from punishment for lobbying, with outrage that he ghosted an emergency Commons debate on the row.
Pictures suggest Mr Johnson still managed to get back to London in time to have come to the House, but chose not to
Instead he travelled 300 miles to Northumberland, near the Scottish border, on a visit to a hospital that No10 claimed was ‘long-planned’. Even so, pictures suggest Mr Johnson still managed to get back to London before 5pm – in time to have come to the House, as the session ran until after 7pm.
In a brief interview from Hexham, a bad-tempered premier refused to say sorry and stoked rising anger by suggesting there was ‘not much more to say’ on the controversy.
Deputy PM Dominic Raab also tried to turn the tables on Labour in interviews this morning, saying Keir Starmer should not be ‘politicising’ the situation.
Mr Johnson was snapped arriving back in King’s Cross before 5pm last night
But sent to take the brunt of the backlash in parliament, Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay struck a notably different tone, expressing ‘regret’ and admitting it had been a ‘mistake’ to link reform of Parliament’s anti-sleaze rules to Mr Paterson’s case.
A series of Conservative MPs took to their feet to condemn the behaviour of the government and Mr Johnson himself.
He repeatedly lobbied ministers and officials for two firms, Randox and Lynn’s Country Foods, that paid him more than £100,000 a year.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party had ‘long called’ for the MPs’ code of conduct to ban ‘paid directorships and consultancy roles’ for serving members.
Sir Keir added: ‘A change along these lines has been recommended by the independent Committee for Standards in Public Life.’
It recently emerged that the senior Tory MP Geoffrey Cox took advantage of lockdown rules to cast votes in the Commons by proxy as he worked 4,000 miles away on the lucrative contract earlier this year, a source disclosed.
Sir Geoffrey yesterday revealed he has earned more than £1million from outside legal work over the past year on top of his £82,000 salary as a backbencher.
A Whitehall insider said: ‘While he should have been in the UK working for his constituents he’s been over in the British Virgin Islands doing his second job working as a barrister and advising those accused of trousering cash for their mates.’
Today Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted the role was ‘legitimate’ and said ‘voters will decide’ whether their MP is spending enough time on parliamentary duties.
Sir Geoffrey, who is known for being the highest-earning MP, spent up to a month in the British Virgin Islands working for Withers, an international law firm, while voting by proxy in the Commons, a source told the Daily Mail.
He has been paid almost £900,000 by Withers over the past year and received more than £130,000 for other legal work.
He is thought to have been in the BVI in April and May this year. He was recorded as arriving on April 26, while the Commons was debating global anti-corruption sanctions.
A press release on the BVI government website for that day stated that Sir Geoffrey was ‘currently in quarantine’ but ‘intends to hold a series of meetings with government ministers in the next few weeks’.
He was listed among MPs eligible for a proxy vote that day.
The register of financial interests shows he received £156,916.08 from Withers for work undertaken between April 29 and May 31, 2021, totalling 140 hours.
Sir Geoffrey, who was sacked as attorney general last year, has been representing the government of the BVI, a British Overseas Territory, in an inquiry into the governance of the islands.
It was launched in January by the Foreign Office to establish whether there was evidence of ‘corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty that has taken place in public office in recent years’.
The inquiry has heard allegations of unaudited spending and contracts being handed out to politically connected people.
The hearings have exposed tensions between the BVI’s local government and its governor, who is appointed by the UK.
A senior Whitehall source accused Sir Geoffrey of ‘pocketing hundreds of thousands of pounds to help stop the exposure of corruption in a Caribbean paradise’.
At the time, coronavirus restrictions meant MPs could participate in Commons debates via Zoom and vote by a proxy – meaning they did not have to come to Westminster.
Sir Geoffrey was hired by Withers in September last year as its ‘consultant global counsel’ to advise on private and overseas government clients, according to the firm’s website.
Keir Starmer banked £25,934.10 in legal fees in the last year alone despite standing on a manifesto pledging to end MPs’ second jobs in 2019
A post announcing his appointment noted that he remained MP for Torridge and West Devon and a privy counsellor, and would still practise as a barrister at Thomas More Chambers in London.
The British Government is funding the ‘core cost’ of the commission of inquiry in the BVI, but will not pay the fees associated with legal counsels appointed by individuals or organisations.
Labour MP Karl Turner said yesterday: ‘How does Geoffrey Cox find time to do his job as a constituency MP?’
It comes amid growing calls for MPs to be banned from having second jobs which involve consultancy work. Sir Geoffrey was providing legal work, but many of his colleagues take on paid positions as consultants.
Sir Geoffrey did not respond to a request for comment last night.
Commons second jobs row: Top 10 Tory consultancy earners
- Tory former chief whip Julian Smith earns £144,000 for three firms. He works for Ryze Hydrogen Ltd, Simply Blue Management, part of a marine project developer, and MJM Marine Ltd.
- Conservative former transport secretary Chris Grayling earns £100,000 advising operator Hutchison Ports Europe.
- Tory Mark Garnier earns £90,000 a year advising two companies. He works ten hours a month for Laser Light Communications, a start-up satellite company and ten hours a month for the Shetland Space Centre.
- Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey receives £78,000 for consultancy work for a law firm and energy company – although he says the funds benefit his disabled son. He works for Herbert Smith Freehills and Next Energy Capital.
- Tory ex-Cabinet minister Alun Cairns earns £60,000 advising BBI Group, a global life science firm, Veezu Holdings Ltd, a private hire transport platform, and Elite Partners Capital Pte Ltd, a global property investment firm.
- Tory MP Ruth Edwards earns £60,000 per year advising software company MHR International UK Ltd.
- Conservative former minister Stephen Hammond gets £60,000 a year working for Darwin Alternative Investments.
- Tory ex-minister Steve Brine earns a total £60,000 a year working for Remedium Partners, a healthcare recruiter, tech firm Microlink PC, as well as pharmaceutical company Sigma.
- Tory ex-cabinet minister David Davis receives £50,000 a year advising investment firm THI Holdings GmbH and Kohlgartenstrasse, a real estate company.
- Tory ex-energy minister Sir John Hayes earns £50,000 a year advising BB Energy Trading Ltd.