Tories snap up directorships

Former ministers and Conservative MPs who are leaving the Commons at the general election have taken on a raft of director-ships and public posts to fill their time, the latest Register of Members' Interests has revealed.

High on a list of 15 retiring Tories who have taken on new outside interests since the last register was published 10 months ago are Kenneth Baker, the former Home Secretary, John Patten, former Secretary of State for Education, and Tim Renton, the former Chief Whip. Mr Patten, who is giving up his Oxford West and Abingdon seat, has become a non- executive director of Alfred McAlpine.

Mr Baker has added a non-executive directorship of Millennium Chemicals Incorp- orated to his existing list of five seats on boards, and has become an adviser to Mercury on the world-wide cable industry. He already advises ICL, and the Harris Parliamentary Panel, though his fee from Harris is sent to a drugs charity of which he is patron. He has also become honorary chairman of the Museum of British History.

Mr Renton, who holds a directorship and two consultancies, has become chairman-elect of the Sussex Downs Conservation Trust. A former arts minister, he accepted free tickets to the Royal Opera House, to Glyndebourne and to Wimbledon last year.

Richard Needham, a former Northern Ireland and trade minister, already lists four directorships, a consultancy and membership of Lloyds' in addition to shares in a packaging company. John Butcher, a former education minister, has become a non-executive director of Pertemps recruitment agency.

Other Conservative MPs who have taken on new directorships in the run- up to retirement include Sir Julian Critchley, the member for Aldershot, Sir Michael Marshall, member for Arundel, Robert Banks, member for Harrogate, Patrick McNair-Wilson, member for New Forest and Dudley Fishburn, member for Kensington.

Derek Foster, the shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, criticised the Conservative MPs for taking on new jobs."The rats are fleeing the sinking ship. Just weeks before the election, outgoing Tories are leaving no stones unturned in their search for lucrative junkets in their parliamentary afterlife," he said.

Tony Blair, who last year received gifts of a Fender Stratocaster guitar from the British Phonographic Industry and a rug from Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, this year had to make do with cufflinks from the South African Chamber of Business. This year, Ms Bhutto chose to give a rug to the Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Property Inspection Inventory Clerk

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a fast growing in...

Recruitment Genius: PSV/PCV & HGV Mechanics

£29000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: PSV/PCV Mechanics & HGV mechani...

Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee