MPs earn more than 1.4 million. pounds a year to act as consultants for private companies – some receive more from their other jobs than their primary job earning voters.
As concern grows over potential conflicts of interest, the register of members’ financial interests shows that 32 MPs are paid for consultancy work.
Analysis of The independent shows that this group – predominantly Conservative MPs – have earned just over £ 1.4 million a year in salaries and one-off payments from a number of companies.
MEPs may be banned from holding consultancy jobs under plans being considered by the Commons’ Standards Committee, as Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle made clear his desire to “cleanse” Parliament of the current “sleaze” storm.
An emergency Commons debate on standards is being held on Monday following the debacle over the government’s scandalous attempt to rewrite rules of conduct and save Tory MP Owen Paterson from suspension after he was found to have broken the lobbying rules.
Sir. Paterson turned out to have used his consultancy position to lobby on behalf of two firms that pay him more than £ 100,000 a year, sparking renewed debate over whether MPs should be allowed to stay out of employment.
Prior to the debate, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party would support a ban on MPs holding consultative roles and board positions. “We have been saying for many, many years that they should go,” he told the BBC.
The standard cross-policy committee will soon publish its own report on the code of conduct and the disciplinary process – with a new look at consultancy jobs that are thought to be under consideration.
Figures show that dozens of MPs would lose out on lucrative extra jobs that pay tens of thousands of pounds a year if a ban were introduced.
The highest paid MP for consultancy work is former Tory minister Andrew Mitchell – who receives £ 182,600 a year by working for companies including investment firms Investec, SouthBridge and Kingsley Capital Partners, along with accountants Ernst & Young and consultants Montrose Associates.
Others benefiting from consulting roles include Tory MP Chris Grayling being paid £ 100,000 annually by Hutchison Ports Europe, and former Tory Chief Whip MP Julian Smith receiving a total of £ 144,000 a year from three companies.
There are currently no rules against MPs being paid to advise external companies as long as they register it in their register of interests – but they must not lobby the government on behalf of these companies.
MPs who have jobs that “involve lobbying” should “look at it again”, Cabinet Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Monday.
The international trade secretary told Sky News: “I think the question of whether MPs have jobs involving lobbying should perhaps be looked at again.”
Boris Johnson said it was “very important” to get the standard regime for MPs right, and welcomed the speaker to create a cross-party consensus on reforming the way the standard system works.
Asked whether MPs should be banned from taking other jobs, the prime minister said: “All those things are issues that the president’s panel – no matter what he wants to set up – will look at.”
Johnson was accused of “running scared” after deciding to stay out of the emergency following the quarrel over Mr Paterson – who has resigned as a North Shropshire MP and stepped down from his consulting roles.
Here is a list of current MPs who receive payment for consulting or advisory work. It does not include all other jobs listed by MPs, with some continuing to work as lawyers, doctors and nurses, while others are listed as directors of companies.
– Trant Engineering, £ 40,000pa for 120 hours
Sir Graham Brady
– Snowshill Allied Holdings Ltd, £ 10,000pa for 12 hours
– More Plantations Ltd, £ 12,000pa for 96 hours
– Remedium Partners, £ 19,200pa for 96 hours
– Microlink PC (UK) Ltd, £ 19,200pa for 96 hours
– Sigma, £ 19.992pa for 96 hours
– A total of £ 58,392pa in 288 hours
– BBI Group (life sciences), £ 15,000pa for 70 hours
– Veezu Holdings (private rental transport), £ 15,000pa for 70 hours
– Elite Partners Capital Pte Ltd (real estate investment), £ 30,000pa for 84 hours
– A total of £ 60,000pa for 70 hours
Sir Ed Davey
– Herbert Smith Freehills, political issues and political analysis, £ 60,000pa for 72 hours
– Next Energy Capital, member of advisory board, £ 18,000pa for 48 hours
– A total of £ 78,000 for 120 hours – money spent for the benefit of Sir Ed’s disabled son
– National Pawnbroking Association, £ 12,000pa for 60-120 hours
– THI Holdings GmbH (German investment company), £ 33,900pa for 16 hours
– Chairman of the Board of Kohlgartenstrasse 15 Verwaltungs AG (German real estate company), £ 16,948pa for 168 hours
– A total of £ 50,848 for 184 hours
Sir Iain Duncan Smith
– International Advisory Committee for Tunstall Health Group, £ 20,000pa for 30 hours
– Byotrol Technology Ltd, £ 25,000pa for 144 hours
– A total of £ 45,000pa in 174 hours
– MHR International ltd (HR software), £ 60,000pa for 192 hours
– Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, £ 15,000pa for 60-80 hours
– Investcorp Securities Director, £ 20,000pa for 48 hours (plus a further £ 29,900 for 19 hours in 2021 so far)
– Laser Light Communications (satellites), £ 60,000pa for 120 hours
– Shetland Space Center, £ 30,000pa for 120 hours
– A total of £ 90,000 for 240 hours
– Hutchison Ports Europe, £ 100,000pa for 84 hours
– Abellio Transport Holdings, on railway policy, £ 40,000 pa for 288 hours
– Darwin Alternative Investments, £ 60,000pa for 50-100 hours
Sir John Hayes
– BB Energy Trading Ltd, £ 50,000pa for 80-90 hours
– The Electrum Group, £ 36,000pa for 360 hours
Sir Greg Knight
– Cambridge and Counties Bank Ltd, £ 16,000pa for 108 hours
– Penelope Thornton Hotels, £ 4,800pa for 48 hours
– Outcomes First Group, £ 37,000pa in 144 hours
– Link Scheme Ltd (ATMs), £ 6,250pa for 32 hours – money paid directly to charity
– Investec, £ 12,000pa for two days
– Montrose Associates, £ 36,000pa for 8 days
– Ernst & Young, £ 30,000 pa for five days
– Arch Emerging Partners, £ 15,000pa for 2.5 days
– SouthBridge, adviser in African relations to Rwanda-based company, £ 39,600pa for 9 days
– Kingsley Capital Partners, £ 50,000pa for 8 days plus stock options
– A total of £ 182,600 for 34.5 days
Sir Robert Neill
– Weightmans LLP, £ 15,000pa in 72 hours
– Substantia Group, £ 12,000pa for 72 hours
– Masonic Charitable Foundation, £ 7,500 for 10 hours (one-time payment)
– A total of £ 34,500 for 154 hours
– Iogen Corporation (Canada), a clean energy company, £ 36,000pa for 36 hours
– Consumer Credit Association, £ 18,000pa for 96 hours (a customer of Mark Pritchard Advisory)
– Epic Private Equity, £ 5,000pa for 12 hours
– Betting and Gaming Council, £ 24,000pa for 120 hours
– EPIFNY Consulting, £ 2,000 for 28 hours in 2021
– Oxford International Education Group, £ 10,000pa for 48-96 hours
– Ryse Hydrogen Ltd, £ 60,000pa for 20 hours
– Simply Blue Management (UK) Ltd, £ 24,000pa for 12-24 hours
– MJM Marine Ltd, £ 60,000pa for 30-40 hours
– A total of £ 144,000pa in 62-84 hours
– Barker Mill Estates, £ 18,000 90 hours ago May 2020