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… 

mdi-timer 19 November 2021 @ 12:22 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Shamed Rayner Refunds Out of Her Own Pocket Some of Her Apple Expenses

Co-conspirators will recall AirPod-Gate earlier this year, in which a bunch of MPs (Angela Rayner, Matt Hancock, Peter Bone, Margaret Hodge) were found to have used taxpayer money to splurge on top-end Apple products. At the time, Angela Rayner defended her purchase of two pairs of AirPods Pro by claiming “on average I use [them] four hours a day now on Zooms”. Guido unearthed evidence which suggested this was untrue. In any case, at least she tried to explain why she needed £500 worth of noise-cancelling earphones. An alibi for her iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard was less forthcoming…

Now Angela appears to have seen the error of her ways, with an update to her expenses page showing she’s finally reimbursed the cost of her various iPad accessories. The £256.24 total for her Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and Smart Folio case was repaid earlier this month. The taxpayer is still footing the bill for her £1,900 iPad and £249 AirPods Pro, presumably because the lower-end tech couldn’t keep up with all that invaluable tweeting.

mdi-timer 13 September 2021 @ 13:21 13 Sep 2021 @ 13:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs Have Had Over £210,000 in Freebies “Doing the Season”

Guido has totted up the total cost of all the freebies MPs have accepted in the register of interests since the country began to unlock on March 29th, and discovered that they’ve enjoyed £210,372.21 worth of free tickets to football games, tennis matches, Ascot races and the like. As ever, not bad work if you can get it…

Guido previously totted up their £23,000 freebees between the start of unlocking and the start of July; just two weeks later they’d accrued another £46,000-worth. In the last month things went into overdrive…

MPs managed to splurge an unbelievable £80,762.43 between July 13 and July 26, following Britain’s full unlocking on 19 July. Some of the biggest frolickers include Tracy Crouch who accepted £8,160-worth of Euros tickets and Greg Smith who received £7,030 in Grand Prix tickets.

MPs also enjoyed a big summer blow-out revelling in £56,887 worth of gifts according to August’s register of interests: big winners included Chief Whip Mark Spencer’s £3,474 of Euros tickets, Graham Brady’s £3,074 of Euros tickets and £2,200 in Wimbledon tickets, and Henry Smith who was gifted £4,248 in Grand Prix tickets. A special congratulations to Nigel Adams, who snaffled £8,037.14 worth of free Euros tickets throughout the course of the whole tournament… 

mdi-timer 25 August 2021 @ 14:20 25 Aug 2021 @ 14:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Pressure Builds Over Hancock’s Shares in NHS Contract Firm

Last night, the story Guido readers first learnt on Wednesday – that Matt Hancock has shares in his sister’s NHS contract-winning firm – became the Independent’s ‘front page’ (though only the BBC credits Guido for first revealing the shares). A government spokesperson maintains Hancock acted “entirely properly in these circumstances”

“All declarations of interest have been made in accordance with the ministerial code. Ministers have no involvement in the awarding of these contracts, and no conflict of interest arises.”

Too soon? The story gets worse for Matt…

Last night the Health Service Journal revealed not only did Hancock’s sister’s firm win two NHS Wales contracts, it won a place on a framework to provide services to the English NHS in 2019 – half a year after Hancock became Health Secretary. He failed to declare any conflicts of interest in his member’s register.

While many ministers do declare interests of parents and siblings – even when they aren’t directly relevant to their role – the Department for Health wouldn’t be drawn on whether Hancock discussed his family involvement in the firm with the permanent secretary or independent advisor.

Labour has now leapt on the story, saying “there needs to be a full inquiry and immediate publication of all documents relating to Topwood’s acceptance onto the framework contract in 2019.” They could have called for an inquiry a whole day sooner if they’d been reading Guido…

mdi-timer 16 April 2021 @ 09:03 16 Apr 2021 @ 09:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IPSA Likely to Investigate New Claims Against Serial Expenses Abuser Byrne

Yesterday, Guido covered the implosion of Liam Byrne’s West Midlands mayoral campaign; one aspect of which is the persistent accusation he’s misusing public money by having his expenses-paid parliamentary staff help run his election campaign efforts. Guido fears IPSA are likely to investigate. If they do, the expenses watchdog may find this history of Liam Byrne’s previous expenses escapades worth bearing in mind. It’s far from glittering:

  • Since 2010, he’s claimed over £1.9 million in expense, nearly £6,000 in ‘bonuses’ and potentially up to £45,000 paid to his wife
  • Byrne claimed nearly £2,000 of taxpayers’ money for a second home he neither bought nor rented (2009)
  • In 2011, he claimed the second-highest total of expenses for any MP
  • Claimed the maximum permissible amount of expenses under the additional costs allowance over two financial years while switching between various luxury flats in London (2004 & 2005)
  • Submitted claims for room service food in hotels, which were rejected by the Fees Office (2009)
  • Claimed £150 in rail upgrades so he could get a first-class seat rather than standing up in crowded standard-class carriages (2011)
  • Claimed £260 for a Times subscription, despite MPs and their staff having free access to the paper (2019)
  • Attempted to claim £50.92 in expenses for an airbed, having it turned down when the fees office asked whether it was for his own personal use (2009)

Woe betide the Commons Fees Office when they do dare turn down any of Byrne’s requests as well, given his history of complaining when expenses aren’t approved. In 2017, Byrne left taxpayers with a £30,000 bill after taking IPSA to tribunal over their failure to pay £1,853 for leaflets that were “political in nature”. He also complained after IPSA rejected a £525 claim for a speechwriter to write a political speech, and when they rejected a £500 claim for political newsletters.

Byrne has a history of abusing both the spirit and the letter of MPs expenses, and Guido can’t imagine the Birmingham MP would blink twice at now misusing public funds to fight his collapsing mayoral campaign. IPSA are likely to investigate Byrne again for a breach of section 16 of the Code of Conduct, all it takes is a complaint from a consituent or another MP to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

mdi-timer 13 April 2021 @ 16:24 13 Apr 2021 @ 16:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rayner Defends Her £249 AirPod Pro Expense Claim as Necessary

Angela Rayner launched an extraordinary defence of one of her AirPod Pro expense claims this morning, asserting that spending “£249 on a pair of AirPods” was necessary because “on average I use [them] four hours a day now on Zooms”. A bold claim, why couldn’t she have bought normal AirPods, like the Health Secretary, or even cheaper non-apple headphones, like the Health Secretary did too…

Her bold defence looks stranger still given the fact that Guido has sat through far too many hours of Labour Party zoom meetings over the last year and can’t recall Rayner using her AirPod Pros in any of them. She wasn’t wearing them when she criticised male leadership, or when she erroneously claimed to be Labour’s first female deputy leader. Nor in her many other recent Zoom meetings

Yet Rayner’s expenses show a veritable splurge on Apple Products. Guido’s would be keen to know why Rayner felt the need to claim for two sets of AirPod Pros. She’s almost at Shadow Defence Minister Fabian Hamilton’s level…

mdi-timer 11 March 2021 @ 09:01 11 Mar 2021 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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