MPs’ second incomes kept under wraps

Author: By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent

Several politicians disclosed that they had been handed gifts including ties, jars of honey and trips abroad in an updated version of the Register of Members’ Interests, but details of income from lucrative second jobs remained under wraps.

The new rules oblige all MPs to reveal the exact amount they are paid for second jobs, as well as the amount of time they spend doing them. But they are only obliged to reveal their earnings and workload once they have received payment for the roles.

No new details about the outside work currently carried out by the shadow Cabinet emerged, despite Andrew Mitchell, William Hague, Oliver Letwin, Ken Clarke and David Willetts all earning significant sums outside Westminster. David Cameron has said his top team will give up their outside work in the run up to the next election.

The former Home Secretary, John Reid, revealed that he received donations for two trips to Bahrain and the US, but did not reveal his income as chairman of Celtic football club, saying it was “remunerated annually”. Celtic’s accounts suggest that Dr Reid received £34,066 last year. Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary, revealed a £2,209 donation from a digital technology firm for giving a speech in Sydney, Australia, but did not reveal her income as a director of BT.

However, the updated information did show some links to the lobbying industry. Jimmy Hood, the Labour MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, revealed that he was given £625 from Scottish Coal, Britain’s second largest coal producer. It was part of an annual £7,500 fee to serve as a “parliamentary consultant”. He said he had not spent any time working on the job this month.

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