Tory MP registers new £60,000-a-year role for his consultancy business despite second jobs scandal

Stephen McPartland’s consultancy business takes on work from investment firm

Adam Forrest
Thursday 02 December 2021 19:07
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Owen Paterson broke lobbying rules, Boris Johnson admits

Conservative backbencher Stephen McPartland has registered new advisory work worth £60,000 a year, despite a series of scandals over MPs’ financial interests.

Several MPs have stepped down from outside roles following the Owen Paterson debacle and increased scrutiny over potential conflicts of interest from consultancy work.

However, Mr McPartland’s consultancy business – McPartland Consulting Ltd – has recently begun receiving £5,000 a month from MBU Capital Group, according to the latest entry on the register of members’ interests.

The Tory MP updated his interests on 26 November after his company began providing “strategic advice” to the investment firm on 1 November.

The MP for Stevenage, who is listed as the unpaid director of McPartland Consulting Ltd, already earns £4,000 a month as a non-executive director for retailer Furniture Village.

Three other Conservative MPs have ditched advisory positions in the wake of last month’s furore over second jobs, the latest register has revealed.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith gave up a £20,000 post with a health group, while Julian Smith dropped energy sector roles worth £144,000 a year and former health minister Steve Brine quit work worth £20,000 a year with a pharmaceutical firm.

All of the roles came to an end within days of Boris Johnson’s own 16 November call for a ban on consultancy and advisory work after his botched attempt to save ex-Tory MP Owen Paterson from punishment for paid lobbying.

There is no suggestion that any of the MPs doing advisory work had breached rules in the way that Mr Paterson was found to have done by parliament’s sleaze watchdog.

The Committee on Standards recommended a series of reforms to clean up standards earlier this week – including an outright ban on MP providing paid parliamentary advice, consultancy or strategy services.

Under the reforms proposed, MPs could face investigation for launching “excessive” personal attacks online and the rules around ministers’ gifts and hospitality could also be tightened.

On Thursday Labour MP Chris Bryant, chair of the committee, said the proposals must be considered all at once and not “piecemeal”.

His committee will consult before putting a final report to the Commons for a decision early next year.

The Independent has approached Mr McPartland for comment.

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