Sir Geoffrey Cox ‘does not believe he has broken the rules’ in the midst of sleaze allegations | Politics news

A senior Conservative MP under scrutiny over his extra earnings for legal work has defended himself – declaring that it is up to his constituents to vote him out if they are unhappy with it.

Sir Geoffrey Cox‘s entry in the member register he shows earned more than £ 800,000 for the law firm Withers, which represents the Government of the British Virgin Islands in a corruption case brought by the British Government.

A statement from his office said he has always been clear to voters about his work outside parliament and that “Sir Geoffrey works regularly for 70-hour weeks and always ensures that his case processing on behalf of his constituents is given primary importance. and carried out in full. “

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Video appears to show MP using office for other job

It has been revealed that he voted by proxy in the House of Commons while earning hundreds of thousands of pounds for legal work more than 4,000 miles away in the Caribbean.

Sir Geoffrey also faces allegations that he used his parliamentary office to undertake some of his work for Withers.

Footage has surfaced which appears to show Sir Geoffrey using his Commons office for such work, saying at a Zoom session of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry: “Forgive me for not being present this afternoon, I I’m afraid I have convincing other commitments. “

The Honorable Member’s Code of Conduct states that all facilities “made available from public funds” are used “always in support of their parliamentary duties”, adding: “It should not give them any unnecessary financial benefit”.

The statement on his website said that “he does not believe he has violated the rules” regarding the use of his office, but “will of course accept the judgment of the parliamentary commissioner or committee in the matter”.

Sir Geoffrey also claimed that he consulted the Conservative chief whip about voting by proxy while in the Caribbean and was “informed that it was appropriate”.

He describes himself as a “leading barrister in England” who “does not hide his professional activities”.

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Javid about MPs using office for other job

It continued: “Sir Geoffrey’s view is that it is up to the voters of Torridge and West Devon whether they vote for someone who is a senior and prominent professional in his field and who still practices that profession.

“It has been the consistent view of the local Conservative coalition, and although his political opponents at every election have tried to make his professional practice a prominent issue, so far it has been the consistent view of the voters in Torridge and West Devon.

“Sir Geoffrey is very pleased to abide by their decision.”

It has Labor Vice President Angela Rayner written to the standardization commissioner calls for a formal inquiry into allegations that Sir Geoffrey used his office for legal work.

“Again, we find conservative MPs breaking the rules to earn hundreds of thousands for themselves and seeing being a Member of Parliament as a leg up to ensure they can get their own personal gain,” she said.

“This is not acceptable. We are here to represent our constituents, not to represent ourselves. It stinks of ridicule and corruption.”

In a speech to Sky News earlier Wednesday, Health Minister Sajid Javid said MPs should not use their parliamentary office for work in connection with their second job.

Asked by Kay Burley whether MPs should use their parliamentary offices for outside work, Mr Javid said: “No.”

“You may be trying to drag me into a single case,” he said when asked what would happen to a Member of Parliament if it was found to have done so.

“But if someone with good reason thinks they might [be doing that] so what they have to do is ask the relevant authorities to investigate it and they can come down to the facts.

“Whether it’s your parliamentary office or other parliamentary papers or something funded or supported by taxpayers, of course it should not be used.

“I think the rules are clear, and of course all Members of Parliament are expected to abide by it at all times.”

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