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07 October 2002

Half of Tory MPs hold paid jobs outside parliament
Tory MP Tony Baldry topped up his parliamentary salary to the tune of over ?1 million last year, according a Labour Research survey of MPs' business interests.

The MP for Banbury is one of 83 Conservative MPs who hold a total of 150 company directorships and 46 consultancies. They account for over half of the164 Tory representatives in parliament, compared with just 9% of Labour MPs who hold such business posts, reveals the magazine's analysis of the Register of Members' Interests.

Baldry has been particularly successful in turning his political career into gold. As director of tyre monitoring technology group Transense Technologies he was paid just ?10,000 in 2001, but he also made a ?904,889 profit from share options in the group.

Add in his parliamentary salary of ?51,822 for last year, up to ?5,000 he received as a parliamentary adviser to the Construction Industry Council and his pay from seven other directorships and Baldry's earnings for the year were over ?1 million.

Other "serial moonlighters" among the Tory ranks are Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) and Howard Flight (Arundel and South Down), each of whom hold nine directorships, and Ian Taylor (Esher and Walton), who holds eight.

Among Iain Duncan Smith's 71 shadow cabinet members and front bench speakers, 32 have paid interests outside parliament.

Meanwhile, extra-parliamentary earnings on the Labour benches are small fry in
comparison. The highest declared earnings comes from George Howarth (Knowsley) North and Sefton East), who gets up to ?20,000 a year as parliamentary adviser to bookmakers William Hill.

Overall, just 27 of the 298 Labour MPs who are not in the government hold a total of 44 paid directorships or consultancies between them. (Government members are barred from holding such posts.) And 10 of the 53 Liberal Democrat MPs (19%) have a total of 18 paid posts.

Notes to editors

1 Further details of the business interests of MPs are published in the enclosed October 2002 edition of Labour Research magazine.

2 Labour Research is published by the Labour Research Department, an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 90 years ago. More than 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3 Labour Research Department press releases are also available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk

4 For further information contact Neal Moister on 0207 902 9818.

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