Tory sleaze scandal shakes Cabinet – but do they have second jobs?

Jeremy Vine: Caller is 'angry' that MPs are allowed second jobs

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Cabinet ministers are the most senior Government ministers working under the leader of the country, Boris Johnson. In recent days, the PM, Cabinet ministers and MPs have been accused of corruption and bias relating to the second job sleaze scandal. Former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox is the latest Tory MP to face allegations of breaching rules due to consultancy work outside of his parliamentary role.

And despite his vehement denial of any impropriety or breach happened, many ministers are still attempting to quiet widespread outrage.

The second jobs held by MPs have come under intense scrutiny in recent days as a result of the scandal involving Owen Paterson, who was found to have broken lobbying rules and was recommended to be suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson used the Tory Whip to ensure MPs voted in favour of preventing the suspension.

The move garnered outrage from opposition MPs and members of the public, prompting a swift U-turn and Mr Paterson’s resignation.

How many Cabinet members have second jobs?

MPs are permitted to have second jobs as long as they are not a minister – meaning none of the Cabinet has a ‘second job’ as such.

This is because if someone works in the Cabinet and as an MP – they are already considered to have two jobs.

Being a minister also gives MPs the power to enact executive orders to benefit private companies and therefore is deemed a conflict of interest if they hold over roles.

Some, however, do hold them in currently unpaid capacities.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, remains an unpaid partner in Somerset Capital Management LLP, an investment management firm.

He worked part-time for the company until July 2019.

The Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is also still an unpaid director of Atlantic Solway Holdings, an investment company in the sportfishing sector.

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How many MPs have second jobs?

An estimated one in three MPs in the UK have at least one job or other commitment outside of parliamentary duties according to recent reports.

More than 200 MPs received earnings outside of their parliamentary work according to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

MPs earn £81,932 annually for their role and must declare publicly any additional income including gifts, donations and shareholdings above 15 percent.

Most MPs with second jobs work as consultants, but there are also a number of other secondary careers they hold including lawyers, doctors and nurses.

What jobs have Cabinet Ministers been forced to quit?

Prior to parliamentary work and Cabinet positions, many MPs and Cabinet Ministers were forced to resign from high-level positions across a range of sectors.

The previous careers of these high-level politicians include:

  • Boris Johnson: Editor at the Daily Telegraph
  • Rishi Sunak: Hedge fund manager at Theleme Partners
  • Priti Patel: Corporate relations at Diageo
  • Liz Truss: Deputy director at Reform
  • Stephen Barclay: Head of anti-money laundering and sanctions at Barclays
  • Ben Wallace: Overseas director at QinetiQ
  • Lord David Frost (not an MP): CEO of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan: Governor of Northumbria Healthcare Trust and Berwick Academy
  • Sajid Javid: Deutsche Bank
  • Nadhim Zahawi: CEO of YouGov
  • Nadine Dorries: PPC for Hazel Grove and special adviser to Oliver Letwin
  • Kwasi Kwarteng: Columnist for The Daily Telegraph and financial analyst at JPMorgan Chase
  • Michael Gove: Journalist
  • Therese Coffey: Property finance director at the BBC
  • Dominic Raab: Solicitor at Linklaters
  • Grant Shapps: Web marketer
  • George Eustice: Connor Downs (family fruit farm business)
  • Brandon Lewis: Director of Woodlands Schools Limited
  • Alister Jack: Farm owner and chairman of the River Annan Fishery Board and Trust
  • Simon Hart: Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance
  • Baroness Evans: Chief operating officer at the New Schools Network
  • Oliver Dowden: Hill & Knowlton (PR company)
  • Alok Sharma: Chairman of think-tank Bow Group’s Economic Affairs Committee
  • Nigel Adams: Advanced Digital Telecom Limited
  • Simon Clarke: Solicitor at Slaughter and May
  • Kit Malthouse: Deputy leader of Westminster Council
  • Michelle Donelan: Marketing at Marie Claire magazine and World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg: Part-time role at Somerset Capital Management (up to July 2019)
  • Mark Spencer: Shadow Spokesman for Community Safety and Partnership for Nottinghamshire County Council.
  • Suella Braverman: Lawyer at No5 Chambers.

The recent backlash is not the first time MPs have faced criticism regarding second jobs.

In 2015, then-Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps admitted to holding a second job as a “multimillion-dollar web marketer” under the pseudonym Michael Green for at least a year after he first became an MP.

The now-Transport Secretary had repeatedly denied suggestions he maintained a second job for three years.

But in 2015 admitted he did work as a web marketer under a pseudonym.

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