It has been a bumper year for cash-for-questions with MPs using a simple life hack to top up their paltry £81,932 salaries (plus expenses, free housing and travel). Seventy-two MPs pocketed a total of over £70,000 by filling in surveys, with some earning £250 for just one hour’s work answering polling questions for cash.
Labour’s Dan Jarvis found time between representing the people of Barnsley Central and serving as Mayor of South Yorkshire to fill in 29 polls in the year to November, earning nearly £3,000 on top of his £161,000 salary for both jobs – plus £120 in Amazon vouchers, according to his Register of Interests. He insists he didn’t ‘personally profit’ from the work.
‘Every penny received is used to support the running of my office and my work as an MP,’ he said.
Nineteen other Labour MPs and 43 Tories were paid to take part in surveys by pollsters including IPSOS Mori, YouGov and Savanta Comres, which claim the parliamentarians provide essential information to reproduce in official reports and studies.
Labour’s Dan Jarvis (pictured) found time between representing the people of Barnsley Central and serving as Mayor of South Yorkshire to fill in 29 polls in the year to November, earning nearly £3,000 on top of his £161,000 salary for both jobs
Among the penetrating questions on matters of vital national significance are, who is their tip to become Speaker of the House of Commons, and who do they regard as the most ‘impressive parliamentarian’. Here are a few of my own for the next round of MP surveys:
- Which wallpaper should Carrie Johnson refresh the Downing Street flat with in 2022? And do you know any donors who will pay for it?
- What should Matt Hancock get Gina for Valentine’s Day?
- Will anyone go to jail for profiteering from the pandemic?
- Should all Ministers have a ‘find my phone’ app as standard?
- ls Lord Geidt right to give Downing Street ethics oversight to Dilyn the dog?
- Is ethics next to Sussex?
2021 leaves Boris shaken AND stirred
The year ended with a boo for the Prime Minister across the board.
First there was the ‘stand up if you hate Boris’ chant at the Darts World Championship.
Now I hear a branch of restaurant chain Bill’s spent Christmas Eve handing out free cocktails decorated with Boris as a clown with blue candyfloss hair.
Bill’s is owned by perma-tanned Tory donor Richard Caring. Whatever next – a Rishi dish at The Ivy?
The year ended with a boo for the Prime Minister across the board
Another week, another story about a £650,000 flat refurb – including £59,000 on wallpaper, worries at No 10 about sleaze, and a Minister receiving and not declaring a loan for the ‘private’ purpose of buying a house.
No, not Boris’s Britain, but Tony Blair’s, courtesy of the latest National Archives release.
As the Mark Twain quote goes: ‘History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.’
No, not Boris’s Britain, but Tony Blair’s, courtesy of the latest National Archives release
The inexorable march of Westminster’s most underwhelming power couple continues.
A year after ex-junior Defence Minister Mark Lancaster was slipped into the Lords after giving up his Commons seat, Boris has made his wife, Caroline Dinenage, a Dame for ‘public and political service’. Let’s look at her glittering career.
As Care Minister she fixed the social care crisis. As Housing Minister she fixed the housing crisis.
In September, the PM reshuffled her out as a junior Minister in the department responsible for gambling regulation.
No sooner had she gone and Dinenage was accepting free jollies from the gambling lobby. As Sinatra sang: ‘They call you Lady Luck, The pickins have been lush.’
A year after ex-junior Defence Minister Mark Lancaster was slipped into the Lords after giving up his Commons seat, Boris has made his wife, Caroline Dinenage, (pictured) a Dame for ‘public and political service’
Dominic Raab has Grand Designs for 2022.
The Deputy PM has applied for planning permission to remodel the £1.7 million Surrey home he bought in June.
Don’t expect a Chevening-style facade. Do expect ground and first-floor extensions plus a play room and ‘den’ for Raab to hide in when our energy bills go through the roof.