Andy McSmith's Diary: Nadine Dorries reveals humiliation pays, but not as much as we thought it did

 

More than a year after Nadine Dorries appeared on the reality show I’m a Celebrity… she has finally done what MPs are required to do, and filled in the appropriate part of the Register of Members’ Interests. Thus we learn that being humiliated in the jungle is less lucrative than we thought. According to the Register, she was paid £6,960 while she was on the show, plus £13,268 two months later for associated interviews and photo shoots, making £20,228 in all – half what the pundits guessed she had received.

Dorries has also registered a long list of other payments about which she had previously been reticent, including a £75,000 advance for the trilogy of novels she is writing, set in Liverpool in the 1950s, and a total of £25,314 from The Sun for various articles and interviews. In all, she added £129,558 in 18 months to her MP’s salary of £66,396.

She has a ready answer to anyone who criticises her for raking in more money outside Parliament than in: she will point out that she claims considerably less by way of parliamentary expenses than she is entitled to. As she puts it: “I now no longer claim personal expenses from the taxpayer. I pay for my own Westminster accommodation when Parliament is sitting, my own constituency home and make no claims for travel, food etc.”

But naturally she charges the taxpayer for the salaries she pays her staff, including the young woman who receives £35,000 a year for giving her secretarial support in her Bedfordshire constituency – her daughter.

The green-eyed god

Nadine Dorries’s earnings, however, are only a fraction of those of her fellow Tory Stephen Phillips, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, a QC who has raked in more than £615,000 in just over two years from practising law. The many hours he spends in court have not stopped Mr Phillips from being a regular attendee in the Commons: he has voted in more than 90 per cent of the divisions in the current Parliament, well above average for an MP.

To those who think MPs should live off their salaries only, he had this to say, when interviewed on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Part of the problem is that the public don’t really know precisely what the job of a constituency MP entails.

“The money I earn outside Parliament is money for which I work very hard. It also demonstrates how successful I am. It might well be thought that someone who commands the fees that I can might be a very good thing for my constituents.”

He added a lament for the way discussion of this subject is ruled by “the green-eyed god of envy”. So if you are feeling envious, just stop it.

Brown tops the bill

Even Mr Phillips’ earnings are eclipsed by those of the former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, though he spends none of his outside income on himself, but pays the whole lot into the office of Gordon and Sarah Brown. His entry is a vivid illustration of how much more money there is to be made from being an ex-Prime Minister than a serving one. David Cameron’s salary is £142,500; Gordon Brown’s, when he was in office, was £185,000. His updated entry shows that he was paid £64,965, plus nearly £20,000 in travel and accommodation costs, for delivering just one speech, in Mexico.

Cliff goes on a tax holiday

When Sir Cliff Richard suns himself in Portugal or Barbados, he is not just going on a summer holiday, he is taking a tax holiday.

The 73-year-old crooner has told Radio Two: “The reason I decided to reside in Barbados was because my manager said to me, ‘You know you only spend four months of the year in England?... You spend three months in Barbados, you spend three months in Portugal, you spend a couple of months touring and you visit America. You spend four months here. If you are willing to take away another month, I can perhaps save you some tax.”

He added: “I said, ‘OK, that’s another two weeks in Portugal, another two weeks in Barbados. Thank you, I’ll do it.’”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions