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.

Extra work

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.”

Outrage

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)

Overseas visits

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)

Paid work

£300 from BBC for 4 to 5hrs work contributing to radio programme Great Lives.

Sponsorships

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)

Directorships

Annual payment of £34,000 for 86hrs work for Eastbourne-based Motion Picture Licensing and subsidiary companies

Paid work

£800 from Daily Express for two articles. (Half donated to charity); January 3, 2012

Overseas visits

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.

Miscellaneous

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)

Directorships

• 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

Paid work

• 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.

Overseas visits

£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

Miscellaneous

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)

Paid work

£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.

Shareholdings

JP Morgan Chase (US investment bank)

Classwatch Limited (firm fitting CCTV in schools)

Charles Hendry (Wealden)

None

Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)

Paid work

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)

Paid work

£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

Overseas visits

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.

Other

Wife Jennifer Millar-Smith employed as Secretary.

Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)

None

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)

Sponsorships

Subscription from Bloomberg LP worth £13,800 to news and data services as part of his role as chairman of the Treasury select committee.

Gifts

Honorary membership of Goodwood Country Club.

Shareholdings

Veritas Asian Fund (investment fund)

Amber Rudd (Hastings)

None

Greg Barker (Bexhill and Battle)

Directorships

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

Shareholdings

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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Comments (17)

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12:36pm Mon 13 Feb 12

NickBrt says...

Either they're not working full time for their constituents, or they're being grossly overpaid for their part time jobs or they're ignoring the EU working time directive. Suspect a bit of all three. Noses still firmly in the ever overfilled trough.
Either they're not working full time for their constituents, or they're being grossly overpaid for their part time jobs or they're ignoring the EU working time directive. Suspect a bit of all three. Noses still firmly in the ever overfilled trough. NickBrt

12:50pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Charismatic Andrew says...

Norman Baker (Lewes):
Miscellaneous Ongoing income from royalties for publication of book entitled ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’

......... so that will be about £3.50 a year then.
Norman Baker (Lewes): Miscellaneous Ongoing income from royalties for publication of book entitled ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’ ......... so that will be about £3.50 a year then. Charismatic Andrew

1:02pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Isaac Rinkfern says...

Nice to see that the Lought is still keeping his hand in with "Classwatch", despite standing down from a paid role within the company that spies on kids and profits from the big brother way of life that we all love so much.
No wonder he wasn't interested when we raised the issue of someone filming kids on our allotment, he seems to think that it's ok to invade others privacy.
How about somone tells us how many of these MPs hold paid roles in the "charities" that they donate fees to?
Nice to see that the Lought is still keeping his hand in with "Classwatch", despite standing down from a paid role within the company that spies on kids and profits from the big brother way of life that we all love so much. No wonder he wasn't interested when we raised the issue of someone filming kids on our allotment, he seems to think that it's ok to invade others privacy. How about somone tells us how many of these MPs hold paid roles in the "charities" that they donate fees to? Isaac Rinkfern

1:12pm Mon 13 Feb 12

matt222 says...

I was made redundant and I'm still looking for work. I wrote to Nicholas Soames about the difficulties in finding a decent job in his constituency.

WHAT A HYPOCRITE!!
I was made redundant and I'm still looking for work. I wrote to Nicholas Soames about the difficulties in finding a decent job in his constituency. WHAT A HYPOCRITE!! matt222

2:07pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Dirk Gently says...

I thought being an MP wasn't supposed to be a full-time job anyway. I'd much rather have my political interests represented by somebody with experience in the real world than by a professional politician.

Mr Soames's income is not so unusual given his position and past experience. But if his constituents feel under-represented then they can and should vote for somebody else.
I thought being an MP wasn't supposed to be a full-time job anyway. I'd much rather have my political interests represented by somebody with experience in the real world than by a professional politician. Mr Soames's income is not so unusual given his position and past experience. But if his constituents feel under-represented then they can and should vote for somebody else. Dirk Gently

2:41pm Mon 13 Feb 12

stir up says...

Why should anyone be surprised look at how much ex-prime ministers can get for consultancy work.
If you have a look on TV at the live broadcast that goes on all day from the House of Commons often there are very few MPs actually in the chamber unless it is a big debate and the one talking if ofte just talking to 5 or 6 other MP. What about early day closing for want of a better term on Fridays.
Why should anyone be surprised look at how much ex-prime ministers can get for consultancy work. If you have a look on TV at the live broadcast that goes on all day from the House of Commons often there are very few MPs actually in the chamber unless it is a big debate and the one talking if ofte just talking to 5 or 6 other MP. What about early day closing for want of a better term on Fridays. stir up

2:59pm Mon 13 Feb 12

East Brunswick says...

Mr. Soames -
All these extra 'jobs' are 'jobs for the boys'
In the end is us the public who pay them as the companies do not pay tax on payments to workers and Soames would be classed as an emplyee.
I doubt he does a good job of any of these 'perk' jobs. As an MP he is a waste of space.
Mr. Soames - All these extra 'jobs' are 'jobs for the boys' In the end is us the public who pay them as the companies do not pay tax on payments to workers and Soames would be classed as an emplyee. I doubt he does a good job of any of these 'perk' jobs. As an MP he is a waste of space. East Brunswick

4:19pm Mon 13 Feb 12

JKW says...

Nicholas Soames is a great MP he is always in the local news every week for his hard work...maybe Paul Lucraft and the rest of the Fib-Dems should remember this..cheap shots from the Cycle lane campaigners whilst the tories get on with the tougher decisions
Nicholas Soames is a great MP he is always in the local news every week for his hard work...maybe Paul Lucraft and the rest of the Fib-Dems should remember this..cheap shots from the Cycle lane campaigners whilst the tories get on with the tougher decisions JKW

4:51pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Tony Harrison says...

"An MP pocketed more than £220,000 in the last year" - blimey, he must have massive pockets to do that. I know he's a large chap but his trousers must be huge. I can't really understand why he would keep such an amount in his pocket over a whole year, it must have weighed him down as he walked around. And the chinking of all the change must have really got on his nerves.
"An MP pocketed more than £220,000 in the last year" - blimey, he must have massive pockets to do that. I know he's a large chap but his trousers must be huge. I can't really understand why he would keep such an amount in his pocket over a whole year, it must have weighed him down as he walked around. And the chinking of all the change must have really got on his nerves. Tony Harrison

6:13pm Mon 13 Feb 12

observer18 says...

Not surprised Fatty Soames is coining it elsewhere, he does absolute nothing for our constituency except around election time. One of the great Parliamentary fence sitters.
Not surprised Fatty Soames is coining it elsewhere, he does absolute nothing for our constituency except around election time. One of the great Parliamentary fence sitters. observer18

6:24pm Mon 13 Feb 12

Bladesboy Returns says...

What is clear is that as we don't reward MP's at sensible levels vis-a-vis similar policy making leadership roles in the economy, we either attract lower performers, or have the focus of more able people diluted as they seek additional income.

Pay peanuts and get monkeys!
What is clear is that as we don't reward MP's at sensible levels vis-a-vis similar policy making leadership roles in the economy, we either attract lower performers, or have the focus of more able people diluted as they seek additional income. Pay peanuts and get monkeys! Bladesboy Returns

9:16pm Mon 13 Feb 12

SanFranciscoSeagull says...

Blimey, nice work if you can get it...where do I sign? Disgusting. Out of touch. Should be out of office. The people deserve better.
Blimey, nice work if you can get it...where do I sign? Disgusting. Out of touch. Should be out of office. The people deserve better. SanFranciscoSeagull

9:17am Tue 14 Feb 12

Joshiman says...

Not specific to any one Political party.They are all money grabbing opportunists.Blair/M
andy/Brown/Prescot/C
heeky girl loving Lembit/Pussycat Galloway/loads of Tories etcetetcetec
Not specific to any one Political party.They are all money grabbing opportunists.Blair/M andy/Brown/Prescot/C heeky girl loving Lembit/Pussycat Galloway/loads of Tories etcetetcetec Joshiman

10:13am Tue 14 Feb 12

Morpheus says...

Hardly a surprise. Why not report on Gordon Brown? He has hardly attended the Commons since he lost the election and he still gets an MPs salary. This lot still live in a private world of their own completely divorced from the reality they create for us.
Hardly a surprise. Why not report on Gordon Brown? He has hardly attended the Commons since he lost the election and he still gets an MPs salary. This lot still live in a private world of their own completely divorced from the reality they create for us. Morpheus

10:47am Tue 14 Feb 12

Artificial says...

Morpheus wrote:
Hardly a surprise. Why not report on Gordon Brown? He has hardly attended the Commons since he lost the election and he still gets an MPs salary. This lot still live in a private world of their own completely divorced from the reality they create for us.
I didn't know his constituency was in Sussex.
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: Hardly a surprise. Why not report on Gordon Brown? He has hardly attended the Commons since he lost the election and he still gets an MPs salary. This lot still live in a private world of their own completely divorced from the reality they create for us.[/p][/quote]I didn't know his constituency was in Sussex. Artificial

10:49am Tue 14 Feb 12

Artificial says...

On a serious note, MPs are paid a salary to do their job and it seems most of them in Sussex are doing it full time. It is more than a full time job though, because they spend x days in Parliament, Fridays in the constituency, but still have to turn up to numerous events etc. during the evening and weekend. Most of us couldn't do it.
How anyone can commit to representing their constituency when they're spending two or three days a week on other work is beyond me.
On a serious note, MPs are paid a salary to do their job and it seems most of them in Sussex are doing it full time. It is more than a full time job though, because they spend x days in Parliament, Fridays in the constituency, but still have to turn up to numerous events etc. during the evening and weekend. Most of us couldn't do it. How anyone can commit to representing their constituency when they're spending two or three days a week on other work is beyond me. Artificial

6:32pm Wed 15 Feb 12

Brightonlad says...

Transparency at last!!!! Kkkkkkkkkkerching
Transparency at last!!!! Kkkkkkkkkkerching Brightonlad

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