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Sussex MP paid £220,000 for four extra jobs
An MP pocketed more than £220,000 in the last year – on top of his basic parliamentary salary.
The Argus can reveal Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames earned the sum, which is more than the Prime Minister’s wage and nearly ten times the average salary for a UK worker, from four extra jobs.
This is despite also receiving the basic MP’s annual salary of £66,000 to represent more than 75,000 voters, including residents of Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, in Westminster.
Mr Soames, who opposed the decision to publish outside MPs’ earnings in a public register, unavailable for comment but opponents labelled him a “part-time MP.”
Public documents show other Sussex politicians have directorships in caviar firms, received paid business class trips to the Middle East and were given cash for spending 15 minutes completing surveys.
Some confirmed they held directorships but did not reveal how much they earned.
Three politicians – Amber Rudd (Hastings), Charles Hendry (Wealden) and Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton) – did not register any interests.
Mr Soames, who was a former defence minister in John Major’s government from 1994 to 1997, earned £64,195 for 15 hours work a month for Aegis Defence Services.
Parliamentary records show the Tory MP has received 90 written answers to questions to the Ministry of Defence in the past 13 months.
He also earned £28,800 for 50 hours work for energy investment firm Aggregated Micro Power; £47,942 for 15 hours a month advising insurance brokers MMC Group, and £80,000 for advising investors Intrepid Capital Partners.
It comes two years after Mr Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, was one of just 31 MPs in the country to vote against the new rules to declare outside earnings in the register.
The Argus called Mr Soames and his constituency office but received no reply.
After speaking to his Westminster office, a member of staff said: “Mr Soames saw the information and said everything is in the register of interests.
"He said it is public and there’s nothing more to add.”
Paul Lucraft, of Portsmouth Wood Close in Lindfield, Haywards Heath, said: “It is outrageous to think our MP is spending a third of his time earning extra money for himself rather than representing Mid Sussex’s residents.
“Local people are struggling to hold on to their own jobs so how is our MP allowed to hold on to four extra jobs while he’s supposed to be representing Mid Sussex?”
Denis Jones, a Lib Dem councillor in Burgess Hill, said “It’s clear Nicholas Soames has become a part-time MP for Mid Sussex.
“Our area deserves better. We need a full-time MP who will put local residents first.”
The next highest earner was Hove MP Mike Weatherley, who earned £34,000 in the past year through monthly payments from Eastbourne-based Motion Picture Licensing, which deals with work in intellectual property.
He said: “As a huge supporter of the rights of artists, both in film and music, it is essential I have real-world experience on the issue.”
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas declared two donations of a combined £17,000 which went direct to the Green Party.
Dr Lucas said: “They were given to the Party rather than me as an individual but, under Parliamentary rules it was right I declared them.
“It’s important MPs are fully transparent in declaring any interests – which is why I’m calling for a statutory register of lobbyists and why I post a full list of everyone who lobbies me onto my website.”
Register of MPs' financial interests as of January 30, 2012
Simon Kirby (Brighton Kemptown)
Finmeccanica UK; £856 for trip to Paris; 22 June 2011 Visited Paris Air Show as part of my fellowship with the Industry and Parliament Trust to better understand the UK manufacturing sector
Land and Property
Rental income from homes in Brighton and Pevensey
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
£300 from BBC for 4 to 5hrs work contributing to radio programme Great Lives.
Environmental lobbying group Enough’s Enough; £9,000 donation to the Green Party; 23 March 2011
Environmental charity Earth Resources Research; two donations of combined £8,000 to the Green Party; 21 September 2011
Mike Weatherley (Hove)
Annual payment of £34,000 for 86hrs work for Eastbourne-based Motion Picture Licensing and subsidiary companies
£800 from Daily Express for two articles. (Half donated to charity); January 3, 2012
Sudanese Embassy, London; £1,800 for return business class tickets to Khartoum, Sudan; May 21-24, 2011 Kenana Sugar Company; £1,800 for provision of driver and car while in Sudan (same dates)
Purpose was to visit ahead of the July 9 separation of North and South Sudan and to meet politicians, ministers, businessmen, representatives of the Sudanese Coptic Church, and UK Ambassador, as well as Kenana Sugar Factory.
Prize of £100 in an archery competition from Archery GB, Lilleshall National
Sports Centre, in Shropshire (Donated to charity); 8 December 2011
Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex)
• AEGIS Defence Services; £64,195 for 15 hours work a month; meetings as non-executive director.
• Aggregated Micro Power (renewable energy investment business); £28,800 for 5x10hrs over a year
• Senior Adviser at MMC Group (insurance and related financial services); annual salary of £47,942 for 15hrs a month; work includes “attending meetings and advising on business opportunities”.
• Senior adviser on strategic issues to investment firm Intrepid Capital Partners February 24, 2011, £25,000; 25 hrs.
June 13, 2011, £29,988; 25 hrs.
August 19, 2011, £24,998; 25 hrs.
£1,200 from Conservative Middle East Council for flights, hotel and food to Syria; 24 to 28 February 2011; included meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and British Council
Co-chair of the cross-party group on balanced migration. Costs paid for by Migrationwatch UK.
Norman Baker (Lewes)
Miscellaneous Ongoing income from royalties for publication of book entitled ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’
Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
Paid work £350 from The Guardian for writing an obituary in December 2010; 10hrs registered February 14, 2011 £75 from Populus on August 31, 2011 for taking part in research project; 25mins. Shareholdings Streetbook Ltd, a social networking startup established in 2010 with bases in Soho, London.
Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)
£75 from Populus for completing a survey; 15 mins; fee donated to charity.
£50 from Good Business for completing a survey; 15 mins; fee donated to charity.
£140 for completing Ipsos MORI survey Payments; One hour; fee donated to charity.
£80 from YouGov for completing online survey; 30 mins.
JP Morgan Chase (US investment bank)
Classwatch Limited (firm fitting CCTV in schools)
Charles Hendry (Wealden)
Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)
Speaking engagements for Centre for Parliamentary Studies, two payments of £200 received on July 6, both paid direct to charity; 35 mins each
Francis Maude (Horsham)
Land and Property
Rental income from property in South London.
Henry Smith (Crawley)
£150 from Ipsos MORI for 1hr completing surveys; donated to local Conservative Association.
£80 from YouGov for completing survey. (Registered 7 February 2011)
8 x £75 from ComRes for completion of surveys; various dates; donated to charity.
£100 from MHP Communications for opinion research, fee donated to charity.
£75 from Populus for 15mins opinion research interview, February 2011, donated to constituency party.
£300 from Express Newspapers, for 90mins work, 8 December 2011
State of Qatar paid about £4,000 for Mr Smith to be delegate at the 11th Doha Forum on Middle East and International Security from 8 to 11 May 2011
Land and Property
Rental flat in West Sussex.
Half ownership of holiday property in Cornwall.
Wife Jennifer Millar-Smith employed as Secretary.
Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)
Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs)
Sponsorship £5,000 from Johan Christofferson, believed to be former master of the Isle of Wight Hunt, received April 2011.
Andrew Tyrie (Chichester)
Subscription from Bloomberg LP worth £13,800 to news and data services as part of his role as chairman of the Treasury select committee.
Honorary membership of Goodwood Country Club.
Veritas Asian Fund (investment fund)
Amber Rudd (Hastings)
Greg Barker (Bexhill and Battle)
Director of Flare View, a property investment company let to tenants, no salary declared.
Land and Property
Rental income from freehold commercial business park property in East Anglia, no income declared
Flare View (see above)
New European Property Holdings (NEPH)
Igroland, which owns and operates children’s entertainment centres in Ukraine.
Mottra Ltd, a London-based firm that claims to be “purveyors of exceptional caviar”
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