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11th Nov 2021

Sir Geoffrey Cox pocketed at least £6 million from his second job since entering parliament

The former attorney general has moonlighted as a top QC for over 10,700 hours since entering parliament

Sir Geoffrey Cox has lined his pockets with nearly £6m from his second job, it has been revealed.

The lawyer has been raking in the extra cash having racked up an astonishing 10,700 hours of paid work.

MPs are entitled to a second job, granted they are properly declared and their public service commitment to their constituents is viewed as a priority.

However it seems Cox has put his voters on the back-burner, having missed 12 recent votes on days when he was doing paid legal work.

It also seems since Sir Geoffrey was sacked as attorney general 18 months ago, he has abandoned the house of commons – making only one speech since January 2020.

Constituents of Cox in Torridge and West Devon complained they have been waiting months and months for correspondence replies from their MP.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, when asked if Cox had broken the rules as an MP, was forced to concede “sadly”, that MPs had broken the rules “in the past, and may be guilty of breaking the rules today.”

Speaking at a COP26 press conference in Glasgow on Wednesday (November 10), the prime minister stressed MPs must prioritise their public service role ahead of their second jobs.

Johnson said: “You must put your job as an MP first.

“And you must devote yourself primarily and above all to your constituents and the people who send you to Westminster to Parliament.

“You should not use your position as an MP to lobby or otherwise intervene on behalf of any outside commercial interest.”

He warned: “those are the rules and they must be enforced and those who don’t obey them should of course face sanctions.”

Last week, The Telegraph reported Tory party chiefs had been handed the Electoral Commission’s initial findings from their probe into Johnson’s luxury refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

Amid fresh controversy over the legalities of his personal expenditures, the PM was asked on Wednesday if he was confident his actions “both as an MP and as a minister are entirely above reproach and would pass muster in any standards investigation”.

A nervous Johnson said: “All my declarations are, er, in conformity with the rules and you can, you can certainly, um, certainly study them, um, and, and, and, er, that, er, you know, will remain the case.”

The report from the Electoral Commission could find Johnson broke the ministerial code on party donations.

Labour have written to the Independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, over Cox’s possible breach of the MPs code of conduct.

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner said Cox appeared to be in “brazen breach of the rules”.

This morning, Labour analysis of the Register of Members Financial Interests revealed that since the start of 2021, Tory MPs have taken over £1.7m in consultancy fees.

In the last year, 50 Conservative backbenchers and former cabinet ministers have been paid by consultancy or management firms.

Johnson has stood firm on the validity of second jobs, claiming “I would say that for hundreds of years MPs have gone to Parliament and also done work… on all sorts of trades and callings… and that has actually strengthened our democracy”.

Parliament is in recess until Monday November 15, when the Tories will once again be forced to face the opposition over allegations of corruption and sleaze.

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