MPs are facing the prospect of a total ban on making money from outside consultancy work, after two former cabinet ministers were exposed negotiating cash-for-access deals.

Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind were suspended by their parties in Westminster after being caught in a sting operation apparently agreeing to use their positions to help a fictitious Hong Kong-based company.

In the wake of the claims Sir Malcolm is to step down as MP and has also resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Last year’s top 10 earners from additional jobs included six Conservatives, two Labour MPs, one Liberal Democrat and one independent - as this Statista chart which uses information from the Daily Telegraph shows.

Top of the pile was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who pulled in £962,516 in 2014. He was followed by Geoffrey Cox, the Conservative MP, who declared earnings of £820,000 — 12 times the annual MP wage.

Mr Brown’s declaration in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests points out that he did not receive the fees himself: “I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to support my ongoing involvement in public life.”

In total, MPs spent more than 26,600 hours on non-parliamentary duties.

More: Here's what Jack Straw had to say about 'cash for access' in 2010

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