Tory MPs rake in £15.2 million from second jobs while telling striking workers to show pay restraint

Boris Johnson has received more than £1 million since October, by giving just four speeches, at a rate of more than £30,000 an hour.


Hypocrisy is a defining feature of the current Tory government. It’s been revealed that Tory MPs have raked in £15.2 million from second jobs since the 2019 election. Meanwhile, the government continued to tell striking workers to ‘show pay restraint’.

Among the biggest beneficiaries from second jobs was former Prime Minister Theresa May who made £2.5m on top of her parliamentary salary, mainly from giving speeches to organisations in the US such as JP Morgan bank and the private equity firm Apax Partners.

Boris Johnson has received more than £1 million since October, by giving just four speeches, at a rate of more than £30,000 an hour.

Sir Geoffrey Cox was the second-highest earner, raking in just over £2,191,000 from his legal work. The Tory MP said there was “no conflict of interest between my work as a barrister and my role as a member of parliament”.

An MPs salary of £84,144 places them in the top 5% of earners in the UK, yet many Tory MPs continue to take up lucrative second jobs to top up their incomes. To then tell ordinary workers to show ‘pay restraint’ is insulting.

The revelations were made after joint analysis by Tortoise media and Sky News. MPs collectively received £17.1m from outside income since the 2019 election, with the overwhelming majority of the money going to Conservative MPs. Labour MPs earned a comparatively small £1.2m from outside work.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy was the biggest earner in his party, making just over £202,000 from outside work, including more than £87,000 from his work on LBC Radio.

The revelations have once more reignited the debate around second jobs for MPs, with Labour leader Keir Starmer once more backing a ban on second jobs for MPs with some exceptions.

The Labour leader said he wanted to see “stricter” rules to restrict second jobs – but defended Mr Lammy’s outside work, and insisted that he would have to forge cross-party agreement on changes.

Starmer told Sky News: “David does a lot of media work.

“Broadly speaking there’s a million miles from someone advising a company on strategy and someone writing a book.”

He added: “I’m open to a discussion on this. I think the rules should be stricter … I would like the House of Commons to come together and have another go at changing the rules.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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