MP tops up salary with £14k in book deals

Posted on Tuesday 18th October 2011 at 5:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Press release by South Gloucestershire Labour

The Labour Party

A local MP earned almost £14,000 as advanced payments for book-writing deals in the first six months after his election.

The latest edition of the Register of MPs’ Financial Interests shows that Conservative MP for Kingswood, Chris Skidmore, was paid almost £14,000 in four separate deals between May and October 2010. The largest of these up-front deals was for almost £9,900 and the smallest just over £500.  One book deal worth £2,800 up front is requiring Mr Skidmore to work 15 hours a week for two years on top of the hours he is supposed to work as an MP.

The MPs’ register also shows that two speeches made by Mr Skidmore have earned him £3,500 from a firm of pharmaceutical lobbyists called STAC Consultancy, based in Bournemouth.  Mr Skidmore, who is a member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, has donated the £3,500 to his local Conservative constituency party in Kingswood.

Kingswood councillor and leader of the Labour Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Andy Perkins, said:

“Clearly Mr Skidmore is not spending all of his working hours dealing with his constituents’ problems.  How many employers do you know who would allow their employees to spend at least 15 hours a week writing books?”

Cllr Perkins added that he felt Mr Skidmore should donate the £3,500 he received for speech making to local charities and groups in Kingswood.  He said:

“There are many community groups in Kingswood who are struggling to make ends meet.  Is it really right that our local MP can use his position to earn money for his local party?  That money will be used by his party to try and get him re-elected so he can earn even more money from more speech making.  It’s fundamentally wrong and if he genuinely believes in the Big Society he ought to give that money to the area he represents.”

In the 18 months since his election, Mr Skidmore has earned a total of £18,312 on top of his basic MP salary of £65,738 plus allowances.

Source: South Gloucestershire Labour

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One Response to “MP tops up salary with £14k in book deals”

  1. SH (Editor) Says:

    I have checked that the figures quoted in the press release agree with the Register of Interests – they do.

    All opinions stated in the press release, including the description of STAC Consultancy as lobbyists, are those of South Gloucestershire Labour and not the South Glos Post.