London, June 28 (ANI): A survey has uncovered the outside interests of dozens of MPs who hold down paid positions, ranging from legal and media work to crofting, and even grave digging.
Robert Goodwill, the Tory shadow transport minister and MP for Scarborough and Whitby, runs a cemetery on his farm
One earns 750 pounds an hour for helping to organize an awards ceremony for the drinks industry, while another is paid more than 1,300 pounds a day to provide business advice, reports The Telegraph.
Among the highest earners is Nick Raynsford, the former housing minister, who collected 148,000 pounds from six private-sector jobs last year, mostly connected to housing, and John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP, who receives more than 200,000 pounds a year from his computer software company.
The findings come ahead of the introduction of new rules this week that will require all MPs to declare exactly how much they earn from their second jobs, the number of hours they devote to them and the nature of the work.
The details are expected to embarrass some of the highest earners. Senior MPs in both main parties have already announced that they will give up lucrative posts, including William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, and Ian McCartney, the former Labour party chairman.
John Bercow, the new Speaker of the House of Commons, was paid 40,000 pounds by a health care firm that runs a number of special needs schools after he wrote a government report that led to an increase in special needs funding.
Under current rules, MPs must name all their outside employers and directorships in the Register of Members' Interests, but they are not required to state the hours they work.
In some cases, they do not state their earnings. When they do, they give approximate salary bands rather than precise figures.
Where salaries are not shown in the register they have sometimes been stated in annual company reports. In many cases, they have remained secret.
When the Government announced the change in the rules to force the disclosure of second-job incomes, the Tories saw the move as an attempt to portray them as a party of millionaires.
Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "There is no problem, in itself, with MPs having outside interests, as they can allow politicians to have contact with the outside world.
But there is clear potential for conflict of interests and there is a whiff of suspicion when their outside interest is linked to their policy area.''
More than half of MPs with outside interests are Conservative. (ANI)