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Westminster Accounts: Hourly rate of past PMs revealed – as well as how much time MPs spend on their second jobs | Politics News

MPs with second jobs have an average wage of £233 per hour, Sky News can reveal.

The typical rate for MPs is 17 times the national average – and over 22 higher than the minimum hourly wage.

The highest hourly rate for a current MP goes to Liz Truss, who got £15,770 per hour.

Westminster Accounts

Ms Truss’s most lucrative work since leaving Number 10 has been a speech in Taiwan. She was paid at a rate of £20,000 per hour – nearly 1,500 times the UK average hourly wage – for her insights into global diplomacy.

Even higher than Ms Truss is Boris Johnson, who resigned as an MP last month. His hourly rate comes in at £21,822, but having left parliament, he is free to work without having to publicly record his earnings.

The leaderboard of the MPs with the 20 highest hourly rates in this parliament reveals a clear pattern: 18 have government experience, suggesting a ministerial background is valued by some employers.

Use this interactive Westminster Accounts table to see how many hours each MP has worked in second jobs, and the equivalent hourly rate they have received:

Westminster Accounts – search for your MP with our interactive tool

The Westminster Accounts project – produced in association with media company Tortoise – has analysed the data MPs provide about how much time they have worked on second jobs in this parliament.

The MP who records the highest hours outside their work as a backbench MP is Douglas Ross, the leader of the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament.

He recorded working 3,869 hours on top of his role as an MP: 3,739 hours as an MSP, 89 hours for the Scottish Football Association as a referee, and the rest refereeing in other roles.

Mr Ross is standing down as an MP at the next election to concentrate on his work in Scotland, but political double-jobbing of this nature is not routinely considered controversial in Westminster.

Read More:
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Labour calls for ‘urgent investigation’ into Tory donor
Westminster Accounts – the story so far

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Tory MPs probed by expenses watchdog

Dr Dan Poulter is the MP who spends the most amount of time in a non-political job. The Conservative and NHS hospital doctor works in mental health services. He has registered 3,508 hours since the 2019 election.

The MP registering the most hours in the private sector is barrister Sir Geoffrey Cox, who put the tally at 2,565.

The highest Labour name in this list is the shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who has worked nearly 1,000 hours for 45 different organisations. He has worked almost 700 hours in second jobs since the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced a policy to ban them in the aftermath of the Owen Paterson scandal.

Westminster Accounts at a glance: use the table below to see how much money has gone to parties, MPs and APPGs in the form of donations and earnings since the 2019 election – and the individuals or organisations behind the funding.

Jill Rutter, the former top official now with the Institute for Government, questioned whether MPs were required to record their outside hours in the correct way, given that MPs often register four or five hours when giving an overseas speech would take them out of the country for several days.

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She said: “I think we can probably rely on [this system] to answer the question ‘How long does a particular task take?’ – I don’t think we can rely on it to answer the question about ‘How unavailable does that make you?’

“If you give a speech in London, you put down an hour-and-a-half. That’s probably pretty fair.

“But the same speech given in Chicago or Calcutta, it’s an hour-and-a-half of the speech, but actually you were away from the country quite a long time. So if we want to say how available are you as an MP, the system is really not very good for that.”

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