A row over whether MPs should be allowed second jobs on top of their (not exactly side-hustle) responsibilities as parliamentarians is underway as part of the ongoing fallout from the Owen Paterson scandal.
It’s not against the rules (unless they are ministers and as long as they declare it in an official register) and many MPs such as Rosena Allin-Khan dedicate time to the NHS as doctors as second jobs, while others write articles for newspapers.
But consulting on behalf of businesses while making legislation for the country? Some people say it is pretty fishy stuff.
Government ministers have even said it needs to be looked into. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said of the matter: “Personally I think we should look at that. I’m very comfortable with looking at that.
“I have no problem with that at all. Personally I think it would be wise,” she added.
However, she said she did not favour a blanket ban on second jobs, because Parliament would “lose hugely” if MPs were prevented from taking roles such as being a doctor or nurse.
Boris Johnson, on the other hand, doesn’t seem as concerned. Downing Street today confirmed the Prime Minister “doesn’t back an outright ban on second jobs” though noted that being an MP should be their “primary” role.
“They should be visible in their constituencies and available to help constituents with their constituency matters,” they said in a statement.
“If they’re not doing that, they’re not doing their job, and will be rightly judged on that by their constituents.”
Regardless of whether you deem it right or wrong - it’s worth knowing just who (and there are 200) who have received earnings in the past year on top of their MP salary.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said “heads should roll” over Yorkshire’s handling of the allegations from Azeem Rafiq (Toby Melville/PA)PA Wire
Sajid Javid earned £150,000 for his work “providing advice on the global economy, major industries and geo-politics” JP Morgan. The health secretary also earned £151,835 for “providing advice on the global economy, geo-politics and market opportunities” for California artificial intelligence firm C3.ai between October 2020 and June this year.
Andrew Mitchell holds six consultancy jobs, supporting investment banks and accountancy firms, the BBC reports. He has registered more than £180,000 for 34.5 days’ work
Bill Wiggin has registered £150,100 through his work as the managing director of Emerging Asset Management Ltd, which operates two “fund platforms” in the Cayman Islands, and two in Bermuda.
Julian Smith also works for multiple companies - three in fact. He is earning £144,000 for 62-84 hours’ work doing so
Former transport and justice secretary Chris Grayling earns £100,000 to advise Hutchison Ports
Mark Garnier sits on the advisory boards of two companies in the space and satellite industry, committing 20 hours a month for an annual payment of £90,000
Former Welsh secretary Alun Cairns earns £60,000 advising three companies
Ruth Edwards also advises a software company for £60k a year
£60,000 seems a popular top-up figure indeed. Stephen Hammond advises an investment company on political issues for the sum.
Since leaving his role as health minister in 2019, Steve Brine has joined three firms, including Sigma Pharmaceuticals. He earns almost £60,000.
David Davis earns just over £50,000 as an adviser to two German companies
John Hayes works for international energy company BB Energy Trading, for £50,000. He also took on a new role during the pandemic as a part-time professor of politics at the University of Bolton, earning £38,000 per year
Former party leader and cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith advises two health companies for £45,000
Damian Green advises transport company Abellio on rail policy for 288 hours and £40,000 annually
Tim Loughton rakes in £37,000 for advising a children’s services provider
Daniel Kawczynski provides “general advice” to an American mining firm, earning £36,000 a year
Andrew Percy receives £36,000 a year for advising a Canadian clean energy company for six hours a month
Laurence Robertson advises the Betting and Gaming Council for £24,000 a year.
Richard Fuller gets £20,000 to work as an advisory director of an investment company
Sir Bob Neill has been receiving almost £20,000 for two consultancy roles, including a law firm but of the roles ended earlier this year so can anyone lend him a fiver?
Royston Smith has received £18,000 since May 2020 for 30 hours’ work as a consultant for a property company
Until earlier this year, Mark Pritchard was earning £18,000 a year for advising the Consumer Credit Association
Sir Greg Knight advises a bank for £16,000 a year on “general business and public relations”, as you do
Until earlier this year, Ben Everitt advised the Institute of Chartered Accountants for £15,000
Andrew Bridgen offers political advice for £12,000 a year, to a Ghanaian company
Philip Davies earns £12,000 annually as a parliamentary adviser to the National Pawnbroking Association
Sir Graham Brady earns £10,000 a year for 12 hours work as a strategic adviser
Former universities minister Chris Skidmore provides advice on higher education for £10,000 a year
Paul Maynard earns £6,250 a year as a consultant to a banking services company but he says his earnings go straight to charity
John Redwood gets £5,000 for his work as an adviser for a private equity fund
Until earlier this year, Andrew Lewer provided public policy advice to a property firm for £4,800 per year
Dean Russell received just over £2,000 in 2021 as a consultant for a business training company
Meanwhile nine politicians, who are all Tory MPs, make more through their work outside of the Commons than they do in it, analysis from the i has revealed.
As well as being the leader of the party, Ed Davey works as a consultant for two firms. He says his extra £78,000 income goes towards supporting his disabled son
Khalid Mahmood (Labour) advises the Policy Exchange think tank on issues including extremism for 15 hours a month. For doing so he receives a salary of £25,000 a year
Fiona Bruce, has earned almost £400,000 this year for work with her own firm, Fiona Bruce and Co LLP. The bulk of the payments were made “to meet tax liability” according to her register of members’ financial interests entry
Conservative former prime minister Theresa May (Andy Buchanan/PA)PA Wire
David Lammy has been paid around £40,000 for more than a dozen speaking engagements totally over 40 hours work. He also received over £33,000 for hosting a radio show on LBC, working more than 200 hours for Global Radio.
Former leader of the Tories Theresa May registered £1,299,107 through speeches delivered virtually and in person last year. The highest-paying speech was for investment bank JP Morgan, at £160,370 for 26 hours of work including travel and preparation time. Not bad.
Other politicians have interests including Johnson himself who has a healthy passive income from the books he has published. If you want to have a dig into what projects may be competing with your MP’s attention, you can do so here.