SO MPs are so poorly paid they have to seek outside employment to supplement their meagre parliamentary income?

And among these poor souls is Skipton and Ripon Conservative MP and a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith.

As reported nationally, Mr Smith earns a total of £144,000 a year on top of his MP's salary of over £80,000, by doing consultancy work for three firms. These are Ryze Hydrogen Ltd, Simply Blue Management and MJM Marine Ltd. Oxford-based Ryze, which aims to grow the hydrogen economy, starting with transport, was founded by Jo Bamford, a member of the Bamford dynasty who have made major donations to the Conservative Party. Simply Blue which is involved in developing floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea and MJM Marine Ltd which provides services to the marine, commercial and private sector and both head quartered in Ireland, Simply Blue in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, and MJM in Newry, in Northern Ireland.

Of course, Mr Smith has not broken any parliamentary rules. However, I would say that the parliamentary rules are not fit for purpose and that I for one would expect MPs to devote their whole time and energy to serving their constituents - the job they were elected for. If they want to work for outside firms at the same time then they should not stand as MPs.

JRP Horne


Note: Mr Smith has been contacted for a comment