MPs make £17.1m from outside jobs since 2019
Britain’s MPs have earned £17.1m from work outside parliament since the 2019 election, it has emerged – with the vast majority made by Conservative MPs.
A total of £15.2m was made by Tory MPs over and above their salaries during the parliament, according to an investigation by Sky News and Tortoise Media.
Labour MPs earned a total of £1.2m from second jobs and work outside parliament, with the Liberal Democrat MPs earning an extra £171,000 and SNP MPs’ taking in £149,000.
Around two-thirds of the additional earnings were made by just 20 MPs, with Tories making up 17 of the 20 highest earners.
Former Tory prime minister Theresa May, who has entered the lucrative international speaking circuit, has earned the highest amount. She made just over £2,550,000 on top of her £84,000 salary during this parliament.
Sir Geoffrey Cox was the second-highest earner, raking in just over £2,191,000 from his legal work. The Tory MP said there was “no conflict of interest between my work as a barrister and my role as a member of parliament”.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy was the biggest earner in his party, making just over £202,000 from outside work, including more than £87,000 from his work on LBC Radio.
Some reforms are set to take hold later this year after the government backed moves to ban MPs from earning money from political or parliamentary consultancy work in bid to avoid lobbying scandals.
But Hannah White, director of the Institute for Government think tank, said the changes are “pretty minimal”, adding: “There’s no real incentive on the ruling Conservative Party to push their MPs to change something like that.”
Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to see “stricter” rules to restrict second jobs – but defended Mr Lammy’s outside work, and insisted that he would have to forge cross-party agreement on changes.
“David does a lot of media work,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “Broadly speaking there’s a million miles from someone advising a company on strategy and someone writing a book.”
Labour had previously said it wanted to ban second jobs with only “limited exemptions”, but Sir Keir suggested that his party,
and the Commons, will have to work out what those exemptions would be.
“I’m open to a discussion on this. I think the rules should be stricter … I would like the House of Commons to come together and have another go at changing the rules,” he said.
Sir Keir added: “Transparency is a good thing. The more transparency the better so everybody can see what has been declared and ask whatever questions they want about it.”
Tory health minister Maura Caulfield, asked about the huge sums earned by MPs, told Sky News: “I think the best judges of all this would be constituents and if constituents don’t feel that MPs are giving 100 per cent to their constituency, they’ve got the ballot box to make the ultimate decision.”
She added: “I think the current prime minister is very, very clear – he expects every MP to give 100 per cent to their constituency, and it is possible to work full-time as an MP and to do other things.”
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