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Tory MP under fire over second job

A TORY MP who made his name championing veterans is under fire for raking in cash from an armed forces charity funded by a failed bond scheme.

Johnny Mercer, who represents Plymouth Moor View, has denied any wrongdoing in the wake of a BBC report.

The broadcaster said Mr Mercer receives £85,000 from Crucial Academy, an organisation that trains veterans, for working 20 hours a month — equivalent to more than £350 per hour.

This is in addition to his basic annual MP’s salary of £79,468.

The BBC alleges that Crucial Academy was loaned £325,095 by Surge Group, which itself had taken a loan from Surge Financial Ltd (SFL).

SFL was making 25 per cent commission marketing bonds for London Capital and Finance (LCF) before that firm collapsed in January of this year, hitting thousands of savers who had invested in LCF’s “fixed-rate ISA.”

The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into the LCF collapse, which saw savers lose £236 million.

Mr Mercer insisted Crucial Academy has “no financial link” to LCF and had repaid the loan from Surge Group after it was uncovered.

“Clearly there is some co-ordinated effort to go after me at present — the reasons for which are unclear,” he said.

“Let me be very clear from the outset: I totally reject the assertion that I have done anything wrong in working as a non-executive director of Crucial Academy.

“This is a training academy that trains veterans from the armed forces with particular specialist skills in cyber security, and places them with major companies.”

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