MPs are being paid tens of thousands of pounds a year to act as consultants and advisers for a range of companies, with some receiving many times their parliamentary salary.
Analysis of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests shows 21 MPs listing payments for consultancy or advisory work.
They include Owen Paterson, who was found by the Standards Committee to have engaged in “egregious” lobbying on behalf of two companies that paid him a combined total of more than £100,000 per year.
There are no rules against MPs being paid for advising external businesses, provided they record it in their register of interests, but they must not lobby the Government on behalf of those businesses.
Paterson, who is employed by diagnostics company Randox and sausage-maker Lynn’s Country Foods, is one of two MPs to be paid more than £100,000 for consultancy or advisory work.
The highest paid is former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell, who receives £182,600 per year for 32.5 days working for firms including investment companies Investec, SouthBridge and Kingsley Capital Partners, along with accountants Ernst & Young and consultants Montrose Associates.
Mark Garnier, a former international trade minister, was paid more than his £81,932 per year parliamentary salary for consultancy work. He is paid £90,000 by two companies in the space sector – Laser Light Communications and Shetland Space Centre.
Some MPs also operate their own consultancy firms. Sir Bob Neil is the sole director of RJMN Ltd, which advanced him an interest-free loan of £68,000 in the 2019/20 financial year, according to its most recent accounts.
Mark Pritchard also owns a consultancy firm, Mark Pritchard Advisory Ltd, which made profits of £27,299 in the 2020/21 financial year and paid dividends of £13,000.
Here is a list of MPs receiving payments for consultancy or advisory work. It does not include all second jobs listed by MPs, with some continuing to work as lawyers, doctors and nurses while others are listed as directors of companies.
– Trant Engineering, £40,000pa for 120 hours
Sir Ed Davey
– Herbert Smith Freehills, political issues and policy analysis, £60,000pa for 72 hours
– Next Energy Capital, member of advisory board, £18,000pa for 48 hours
– Total £78,000 for 120 hours – money used to benefit Sir Ed’s disabled son
– THI Holdings GmbH (German investment company), £33,900pa for 16 hours
– Chairs supervisory board of Kohlgartenstrasse 15 Verwaltungs AG (German property company), £16,948pa for 168 hours
– Total £50,848 for 184 hours
Sir Iain Duncan Smith
– International advisory board of Tunstall Health Group, £20,000pa for 30 hours
– Investcorp Securities director, £20,000pa for 48 hours (plus additional £29,900 for 19 hours in 2021 so far)
– Laser Light Communications (satellites), £60,000pa for 120 hours
– Shetland Space Centre, £30,000pa for 120 hours
– Total £90,000 for 240 hours
– Abellio Transport Holdings, on rail policy, £40,000 pa for 288 hours
– Darwin Alternative Investments, £60,000pa for 50-100 hours
– The Electrum Group, £36,000pa for 360 hours
– Penelope Thornton Hotels, £4800pa for 48 hours
– Link Scheme Ltd (cash machines), £6250pa for 32 hours – money paid direct to charity
– Investec, £12,000pa for two days
– Montrose Associates, £36,000pa for 8 days
– Ernst & Young, £30,000pa for five days
– Arch Emerging Partners, £15,000pa for 2.5 days
– SouthBridge, adviser on African matters to Rwanda-based company, £39,600pa for 9 days
– Kingsley Capital Partners, £50,000pa for 8 days plus share options
– Total £182,600 for 34.5 days
Sir Robert Neil
– Weightmans LLP, £15,000pa for 72 hours
– Substantia Group, £12,000pa for 72 hours
– Masonic Charitable Foundation, £7,500 for 10 hours (one-off payment)
– Total £34,500 for 154 hours
– Randox Laboratories, £99,996pa for 192 hours
– Lynn’s Country Foods, £12,000pa for 24 hours
– Total £111,996 for 216 hours
– Iogen Corporation (Canada), a clean energy company, £36,000pa for 36 hours
– Consumer Credit Association, £18,000pa for 96 hours (a client of Mark Pritchard Advisory)
– Epic Private Equity, £5000pa for 12 hours
– EPIFNY Consulting, £2000 for 28 hours in 2021
– Oxford International Education Group, £10,000pa for 48-96 hours
– Barker Mill Estates, £18,000 for 90 hours since May 2020