SWL used declarations made by South West London MPs in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests to understand how much some MPs earned outside of the house.
The controversy over second jobs was sparked by revelations from a standards inquiry that conservative MP Owen Paterson had repeatedly lobbied the government on behalf of two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, recommended a Commons ban of 30 sitting days.
The government’s attempts to quash the ruling and overhaul the standards commission provoked a public backlash, with Paterson resigning as MP for North Shropshire and the government abandoning reform efforts.
The basic salary for an MP is £81,932 but they also receive expenses for travelling to and from their constituency and to employ staff to manage their affairs.
MPs have to register individual payments of more than £100 they receive from work outside of the house.
They also have to register payments from a single source, if all were under the £100 threshold, once the total goes over £300 in a single year.
Disclosures must also include gifts, fees, benefits, taxable expenses, redundancy payments, income as a member of Lloyd’s and payments for opinion surveys.
Reforms by the government passed recently state that paid or unpaid positions by MPs should be within reasonable limits.
South West London Map
The map above illustrates the pound value of declarations made by MPs and they are broken down into the following categories:
Second job income figures are derived from declarations about additional work.
UK gifts/donations is the value of declared donations from British-based donors, these also include donations made directly to the local party and do not mean the MP personally received this money.
Foreign gifts/donations is the value of declared donations from a non-UK source, usually in the form of an official visit to another country.
The value of such trips is usually derived from the cost of the free plane trip and hospitality provided.
Total money value of declarations by party
The figures obtained from MPs declarations show that Conservative MPs declared the most money from second jobs and donations – a total of £142,938 declared.
The Liberal Democrats were second behind the conservatives, despite only having three MPs standing for the region – a total of £109,031 declared.
The Labour party had the smallest total declarations, totalling up to £70,194.
Furthermore, the Labour party is one of the few parties where MPs declarations specify how much money an MP donated to the party or charity.
Of the £70,194 declared by Labour MPs, £18,365 of this was declared as being donated to charity, the local community or back to the party.
Neither the Liberal Democrat nor the Conservative MPs specified whether any of their declarations were donated back to the party or to another organisation.
The data reveals that only 10 of the 21 MPs in South West London have worked outside of the house in the last year.
All three major parties have representatives elected to Parliament in London and of those three the highest earners through second jobs are Stephen Hammond, Ed Davey and Florence Eshalomi.
Stephen Hammond, Conservative, MP for Wimbledon, declared a total of £103,000 from second jobs making him the region’s highest paid MP from work outside the house.
Hammond is the vice-chair of the Policy Board, a policy group focused on infrastructure, for which he earns £18,000 for between 60 to 75 hours of work a year.
He works for Darwin Alternative Investments as an advisor, for which he is paid £60,000 for between 50 to 100 hours of work a year.
The Wimbledon MP also works as a non-executive director for Optibiotix Health plc, a biotech firm, for which he is paid £25,000 for a commitment of 50 hours a year.
“I have never raised a question, lobbied Ministers, nor mentioned in a speech any of these companies,” Hammond said.
“My constituents in Wimbledon have always and will always be my priority.”
The MP also visited Germany this year in a trip valued at £2,740 to Munich and Berlin, where he formed part of a delegation of UK politicians observing the German elections.
Hammond explained that such trips are routine and help to forge closer connections with Britain’s European allies.
“The question should not be not whether or not the rules should change but are we confident they are being properly enforced as things stand currently,” he added.
“I believe if current rules were properly enforced there would be no negative impact on the legislative process.”
Davey, MP for Kingston, was the second highest paid South West London MP outside of the house with £68,500 declared.
The Liberal Democrat leader announced he would leave both consulting jobs earlier this month, citing concerns about potential conflict of interest.
Davey worked as a consultant on policy and political issues for the legal firm Herbert Smith Freehills, for which he was paid £55,000 for 66 hours of work this year.
The Kingston MP also worked on the Advisory Board of Next Energy Capital, which earned him £13,500 for 36 hours of work.
Davey has explained that his extra income went to supporting his disabled son.
Eshalomi, Labour, Vauxhall MP, was the third highest paid South Wst London MP outside of the house with £19,514 declared.
The Vauxhall MP was elected as a member of the London Assembly for Lambeth and Southwark in May 2016 and finished her term in May 2021.
According to the MPs declarations, work as an assembly member would involve 20 hours per month.
The issue of consultancy work
The figures illustrate the striking difference between consultancy positions in the finance and policy world against more traditional vocations.
Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour, MP for Tooting, declared a total of £15,315 from second jobs this year.
The tooting MP has continued to work shifts on nearby NHS hospitals and GP surgeries alongside her duties as an MP.
Allin-Khan said: “It’s who I am.
“If I’m no longer able to work paid shifts, I’ll find a way to volunteer again.”
Allin-Khan explained how she works night shifts to avoid interfering with her duties as an elected representative.
The MP further detailed extra hours she works over Christmas, New Year and Easter.
“I do these shifts because that’s where the greatest need is, and it gives those staff with families a welcome break and more sociable hours,” she said.
The Tooting MP declared that she worked a total of 244.75 hours, which averages to around £62.57 per hour.
In comparison the two highest MPs working as political consultants, Ed Davey and Stephen Hammond, earned £833.33 per hour and £600 per hour respectively.
Both MPs earned more from a single hour’s work than Allin-Khan earned in some 10 hour shifts.
“I support a ban on second jobs – and it’s clear that there’s an urgent need to ban MPs from working as paid parliamentary strategists, advisers or consultants now,” Allin-Khan added.
“The question for me is, what are you working for: the public good, or private gain?”
Other declarations from South West London MPs
Steve Reed, Labour, MP for Croydon North, was paid for two opinion polls he completed and donated all £395 back, covering costs for his constituency office.
Murina Wilson, Liberal Democrat, MP for Twickenham, held training sessions for NHS professionals and completed an Ipsos MORI survey for which she earned £850.
Bell Riberio-Addy, Labour, MP for Streatham was paid £450 for speaking on a panel held by PR firm FleishmanHillard UK.
The Streatham MP also earned £1,350 from opinion surveys over the year and declared that she donated £1,075 of this to charity.
Fleur Anderson, Labour, MP for Putney, was elected as a councillor for Bedford in Wandsworth Council in May 2014 and left the role in April 2021.
According to the Putney MP’s declarations, she had a monthly allowance of £689.79 – equalling £2,069.37 for her final four months as a councillor.
Anderson also declared that she earned £200 from an Ipsos MORI survey and donated all of this to charity.
Marsha De Cordova, Labour, MP for Battersea was paid £200 for speaking at an event organised by Leigh Day solicitors.
Andy Slaughter, Labour, MP for Hammersmith, earned £1,445 from completing surveys from YouGov, Ipsos MORI and Savanta ComRes.
The Hammersmith MP’s declarations specify that £970 of this was paid directly to his constituency party.
Photo Credit: TfL