Labour Again Promise Ban on “Vast Majority” of Second Jobs

Sir Keir has unveiled his 155-page door-stopper for “a new Britain”, in which he promises to replace the House of Lords, appoint a new anti-corruption commissioner, and move 50,000 civil service jobs out of London. It also reignites the second jobs melodrama that gripped SW1 last year, by promising to ban “the vast majority” of them to “remove conflicts of interest”:

“Second jobs are banned in the American Congress, but a quarter of Conservative MPs had second jobs. In 2012, over 200 MPs received earnings on top of their £65,738 salary. Many were small payments for journalism or the like, but additional earnings as high as £1m were recorded, which means significant time and effort spent on non-parliamentary business.”

The only exceptions will be “for employment required to maintain professional memberships, such as medicine.” Presumably the hundreds of thousands of pounds that shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has racked up in speaking fees and presenting gigs falls slightly out of the “small payments” remit. Likewise, the £25,934.18 Starmer has declared in legal fees over the last two years isn’t chump change either. Who footed the £17,598.60 bill for 70 hours of Starmer’s time just before he became leader?

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MPs Declare a Staggering £274,109 This Month Alone From Second Jobs Despite Sleaze Row

Despite the ongoing sleaze row, MPs continue to rake in thousands of pounds from second jobs. This month Guido went through the register of interests and totted up all the money MPs are making through their side hustles…

This month alone, MPs have declared a combined £274,109 on top of their generous £81,932 salaries. Highlights include:

  • Sir Geoffrey Cox receiving £54,000 for legal work carried out in August.
  • Keir “No Second Jobs” Starmer earning £135.78 in book royalties. 
  • David Lammy taking £3,895 this month for speaking events. Earlier this week, Guido revealed Lammy has earned £150,000 since 2010 on articles and speaking gigs. 
  • Jess Phillips earning £2,240 from Independent articles.
  • Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross declaring £6,728 for football referee work from November 2020 to January this year. He was forced to apologise for previously failing to declare his salary…
  • Sir William Cash earning £31,800 working as a solicitor for William Cash & Co.
  • Nus Ghani receiving £60,000 per year for working just 7 hours a month as the non-executive Chairman of the Belfast Consortium Supervisory Board.

This comes as Boris Johnson backs a ban on some second jobs, though it’s not likely many of the above would be affected by his watered down proposals. Despite the scandal, MPs are still raking in the dough… 

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David Lammy’s £150,000 Second Job Hypocrisy

Taking to his second job as an LBC reporter this Saturday evening, part-time media personality, part-time Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy slammed Geoffrey Cox, Boris Johnson and Theresa May for their lucrative second jobs. Throughout his theatrical diatribe, Lammy claimed that his own second jobs were not comparable to those worked by Cox and May because he was not making a “fraction” of their earnings and because his LBC gig is “important for my constituents”. Guido’s therefore decided to do a comprehensive sum of Lammy’s financial registrations over the years to tot up exactly how much the Tottenham MP has earned…

Since 2010 Lammy has earned an incredible £152,791.82 from national media articles, radio presenter roles, and corporate speaking events – the same wage as the Prime Minister. Notably he received an eye-watering £8,287.50 for presenting just one documentary in 2019, and charged Deloitte £4,100 for 4.5 hours of work. As Guido previously reported, he’s also raked in £20,000 for woke race speeches…

Iain Dale called Lammy’s hypocrisy out on Politics Live this afternoon, asking whether Labour’s ban on second jobs would also hit members with red rosettes as well as blue. Guido has a feeling there’d be more than a few exemptions…

Read the full list of his earnings below. 

Read More

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Starmer’s Office Tries Shutting Down Second Job Earnings Questions

While Labour have been going hell-for-leather on the issue of MP’s second jobs, Starmer’s been sidelined and Rayner is doing the media work. At the start of the news storm Guido pointed out Starmer had pocketed £113,975 in second job fees since becoming an MP in 2015, including advising the government of the Gibraltar tax haven. The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, put the work Starmer’s way because they are old pals. When Starmer won the Labour Party leadership Picardo congratulated him warmly, “I have today written to my old friend Sir Kier Starmer QC, who I have known since we were both young lawyers, to congratulate him on becoming leader of the Labour Party…”. That’s the kind of cronyism that Starmer attributes to the government.

The one interview Starmer has done – with Sky News – resulted in tough questions about his 2017 role advising Mishcon de Reya. He also was less than transparent about when he surrendered his practising certificate – Guido believes it was only surrendered last year. Guido understands Labour’s director of communications Matt Doyle is calling Lobby hacks telling them there’s nothing to see here…

Could Starmer’s subsequent silence on the issue have anything to do with claims by Corbyn’s former speechwriter Alex Nunns the day after his Sky News interview? Nunns claims that Corbyn had to stop Starmer taking a second job doing high-paid consultancy work for Mishcon in 2017, with Starmer arguing he should be free to take up the role. He says any claims by Starmer that it was his decision not to take the job are a pretence.

“Starmer’s office had argued there was nothing to worry about in him taking the job, because the Mishcon training academy, which he would be advising, was “really cool.”

When the issue blew up & the Tories attacked (Mishcon represented Gina Miller, Starmer’s brief was Brexit), Starmer wanted to stick with Mishcon’s words that “We are in discussions with Keir Starmer about reappointing him as an adviser” & say it was a limited role—i.e. ride it out.

However, the job was vetoed, whereupon Starmer switched to claim it was his decision, saying “I am grateful for Mishcon de Reya for discussing a possible role advising the Mishcon Academy with me but given my other commitments, I have decided not to further the discussions.””

Since December last year Starmer’s declared £25,934.18 in miscellaneous legal fees, with one for 70 hours billed at £17,598.60. Starmer has not declared who the end client was that paid him, the lack of transparency again makes it is impossible for voters to see if he had a conflict of interest. One of the questions Starmer must answer is, who specifically lined his pockets?

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Labour MPs are Lobbyists As Well

SW1 this Monday morning is on hold until 3.30 pm, when opposition parties will hold a debate on the Owen Paterson sleaze crisis and try to embarrass the government. While Labour and the LibDems will try going in hard on this there will be plenty of members on the government side ready and waiting to point out paid lobbying is far from an exclusive past-time of Tory MPs.

Two of Starmer’s own Shadow Cabinet are lobbyists. Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer works for US law firm Gibson Dunn, which has provided political lobbying advice in the UK. In April Guido revealed Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman works for the major London lobbying firm Grayling.

When challenged about the former by Marr yesterday, Starmer feebly said they’re not allowed to do any political lobbying, however it’s a different question for Members of the House of Lords as they’re unpaid – despite pocketing over £320 a day just for turning up.

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood would also lose his £25,000-a-year Policy Exchange role if Sir Keir’s changes came into being. Starmer, however, was happy for Mahmood to sit on the opposition front benches last year despite the MP’s second job, and to make matters worse the Birmingham MP was subject to a Standards Commissioner investigation during his time as a shadow defence minister, the outcome of which was the commissioner noting he’d failed to declare his Police Exchange job for 12 months. Starmer did nothing.

Guido’s long been an advocate of both putting cowbells on lobbyists, and forcing MPs to wear compulsory broker’s jackets with the names and colours of their union paymasters and business donors on them. In the end he has a feeling this afternoon’s tit-for-tat debate will end up with the public merely feeling all MPs are as bad as each other…

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