Skip to main content

Top tories to lose more than £2.5 mill a year under Labour's plans to stop MPs moonlighting

TOP Tories stand to collectively lose more than £2.5 million a year under Labour’s plan to stop MPs moonlighting for extra money, the Morning Star can reveal.

Labour’s manifesto has set out plans to “tackle vested interests” in British politics — including a pledge to “stop MPs from taking paid second jobs" with limited exemptions to maintain professional registrations like nursing.

The move would hit around a fifth of Tory MPs, according to the Star’s analysis of the register of MPs’ interests.

More than 50 were topping up their £79,468 salaries with permanent second jobs on which they spent a combined 9,500 hours a year.

That does not include MPs earning money from one-off articles, speaking engagements, bonuses or jobs excluded by Labour’s policy such as those working in legal professions or public services.

The single biggest earner from second jobs in the last Parliament was Nicholas Soames who made a whopping £290,000 from four different external roles.

However the MP for Mid Sussex, who recently lost the Tory whip over Brexit, is stepping down at this election.

It means that, based on earnings in the last Parliament, Boris Johnson could personally stand to lose the most money if Labour wins the election.

Before becoming Prime Minister he was making £274,000 a year for writing a column in the Telegraph. At one stage in 2015 he was also simultaneously Mayor of London and an MP and had been commissioned to write a biography of Shakespeare, earning him the nickname “Four Jobs Johnson.”

Former Tory leadership candidate John Redwood had the third most lucrative sideline, pocketing £192,000 from two financial-advisor roles.

Other prominent Conservatives with second jobs include Jacob Rees-Mogg who rakes in around £180,000 a year from his asset-management firm, Somerset Capital.  

Former Brexit secretary David Davis is paid £60,000 a year to act as an advisor to JCB, while Iain Duncan Smith makes £30,000 a year as a member of the advisory board of Tunstall Health Group.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack both had second jobs before joining the Cabinet.

When it comes to time spent on second jobs, Mr Soames tops the list again with 640 hours of outside work — a quarter of an average working year based on a 40-hour week.

Ed Vaizey, a minister under former PM David Cameron, comes second with 552 hours a year spent on  four different advisory roles for which he is paid a combined £185,328. Just over £19,000 of that is in the form of shares.

Mark Pritchard and Hugo Swire were also managing to hold down an extra four jobs outside of Parliament, making them £77,880 per annum and £104,996 (almost half of it in shares) respectively.

Former Conservative frontbenchers Owen Paterson, John Whittingdale, Michael Fallon and Henry Bellingham all had three jobs.

Other Tories who have been burning the candle at both ends include Daniel Kawczynsky, who was spending 360 hours on his sideline with a US mining company that made him £72,000 a year and former minister Bill Wiggin, who has been spending 384 hours a year as director of a Bermuda-based asset management firm, which paid him £49,140 a year.

Outside of the Conservatives, Lib Dem Chuka Umunna spends a combined 288 hours a year on outside work as a writer for the Independent, for which he receives £13,200, and as chair of the Progressive Centre UK think tank for which he receives £65,040 a year.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford was making £48,000 per annum from two extra jobs.

The Star found just three Labour MPs who could be affected by the proposed rule: Sarah Champion, Jess Phillips and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.

Between them they earn £18,200 extra a year for 192 hours.

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 11,000
We need:£ 7,000
19 Days remaining
Donate today