Ian Blackford squirms as outside earnings of £38k exposed – He only worked 32 hours

PMQs: Boris Johnson hits out at ‘uncivil’ Ian Blackford

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The SNP Westminster leader was grilled on his work outside of being an MP where his hourly rate reached highs of £1,217.71. Ian Blackford worked just eight hours a week every three months and made a total of £38,967 at the time. But when grilled on the second job, the Scottish MP said his “sole responsibility” is to his constituents.

Speaking to ITV’s Representing Border, Mr Blackford said: “I came into Parliament with a number of non-executive directorships that I had and I gave a commitment I would wind those down and I’ve done that.

“The key thing is what Parliament needs to do is deal with the sleaze and corruption that comes from the Conservative Government.

“What you saw with Owen Paterson is someone who is being renumerated for lobbying Government.

“He was a paid lobbyist, that is outlawed. It cannot take place.”

Presenter Peter MacMahon interjected: “You were being paid £3,247 precisely for eight hours a week every three months of work.”

Mr Blackford continued: “I inherited a number of jobs I had before I came into Parliament. What I did was in a timely manner was get out of these obligations that I had.

“My sole responsibility is to my constituents and that is what I wanted to be focused on.”

MPs are paid a salary of £81,932 a year, but second jobs have been in the spotlight since the resignation of former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson in a lobbying scandal.

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Fresh scrutiny has been applied after it was revealed former Attorney General Sir Geoffrey Cox was being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds advising the British Virgin Islands’ government in a corruption investigation.

The PA news agency has analysed the figures provided in the most recent publication of the register of financial interests for MPs.

The analysis only includes payments that have been received – or are expected to be received – in 2021, although in some cases work was carried out in 2020.

In cases where positions have started or ended part way through the year, the figure has been calculated pro-rata.

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Sir Geoffrey’s outside earnings were set to be the highest in 2021, gained as a practising barrister. His entry on the register notes that 13.5% of what he receives goes towards costs for his chambers.

This year, he received payments for legal work for Khan Partnership Solicitors totalling £49,154.17 for around 51 hours of work, and from Fidlaw, a business law firm, he was paid £14,999.67 for around 14 hours of work.

In the most recent update he declared he would be receiving an annual salary from November 1 2021 of £400,000 from Withers, the international law firm representing the British Virgin Islands in an inquiry into corruption – around £66,666 would cover this year and he would be working for them for 41 hours a month.

He had previously received additional payments totalling £427,235.11 from Withers in 2021 for 434 hours of work.

Sir Geoffrey also declared a £25,000 payment from CGS Legal, and another £4,200 for legal services.

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