Author: By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
But he faced accusations of “double standards” after admitting that
junior frontbenchers would be able to keep their outside posts until the
election. Under the ministerial code of conduct, they would have to leave
their other jobs if they become ministers.
The Tory leader insisted that holding jobs outside Parliament was not
incompatible with being a good MP. “I do not think that a chamber full
of professional politicians with no outside experience is a good thing,”
But he added: “My Shadow Cabinet has, however, recognised that we are in
a particular period at the end of a five-year parliament where it does
become necessary to demonstrate 100 per cent focus on Parliament, politics
and setting out our credentials as an alternative government. So it’s
decided that, from the end of December, they won’t have any outside
Mr Cameron insisted he was not taking the election result for granted.
The issue of outside jobs has caused tension at the highest level of the
Conservative Party. Mr Cameron floated the idea of a ban last year, but had
to delay the move until nearer the election after objections led by William
Hague, his unofficial deputy. Mr Hague earned about £230,000 last year from
after-dinner speeches, advice to private companies and writing books, but
has since announced plans to give up his outside work. Some junior
frontbenchers are understood to be reluctant to surrender their extra income
until the party has won power.
From tomorrow, all MPs will have to publish their outside earnings and how
much time they spend on non-parliamentary work under plans unveiled by
Gordon Brown to clean up politics after the scandal over MPs’ expenses.
All Shadow Cabinet members in the Commons, and the shadow Leader of the Lords,
Lord Strathclyde, will surrender their other posts, although the Tory peers
Sayeeda Warsi and Pauline Neville-Jones will not have to comply because they
do not draw a salary from the public purse.
The Tories released details of the Shadow Cabinet’s outside earnings before
tomorrow’s deadline as Mr Cameron sought to keep one step ahead of Mr Brown
on the issue.
Mr Hague, the shadow Foreign Secretary, declares £50,000 a year from JCB,
along with £25,000 from AES Engineering and £15,000 for a “paid
speech”. Francis Maude, who is heading the Tories’ preparations for
government, earned £36,700 a year from Barclays for six days’ work; £21,000
a year as non-executive chairman of the Mission Marketing Group (10 hours a
month) and £10,000 a year from American-based consultancy Utek.
Mr Cameron has written to the Speaker, John Bercow, urging the Commons
authorities to speed up the release of MPs’ expenses for 2008-09, which are
due to be published in October.
Shadow cabinet’s second jobs: Their hourly rate (The minimum wage is £5.73)
£1,153: Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove earned £5,000 a
month ? or £60,000 a year ? for “one hour a week or so”
of journalism for The Times.
£764: Francis Maude, shadow Cabinet Office minister, earned
£36,700 a year from Barclays Bank for six days a year of work, including
£187.50: David Willetts was paid £60,000 a year for 40 days’ work
as an adviser on pensions for Punter Southall in London’s Jermyn Street.
£145: Oliver Letwin worked eight hours a week giving corporate
finance advice to investment bank NM Rothschild, earning £145 an hour, or
just over £60,000 per annum.
£395: Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke was paid £38,000 as a
non-executive director of Independent News and Media, owner of The
Independent. He worked about one day a month.
£346: Andrew Mitchell, shadow International Development Secretary,
was paid £36,000 a year for one to two hours a week of consultancy work with
£260: Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was paid £25,000 a
year as a non-executive director for Profero, working one day a month.
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