George Osborne named as highest earning MP of 2016

Lucrative public speaking engagements see former Chancellor's earnings soar

Rachel Roberts
Wednesday 28 December 2016 14:28 GMT
George Osborne has seen his earnings soar since being sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May
George Osborne has seen his earnings soar since being sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May (PA)

Former Chancellor George Osborne was the highest earning MP of 2016, raking in £628,000 on top of his MP’s salary of £74,962 - chiefly from lucrative public speaking engagements - latest figures have revealed.

Mr Osborne was sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May in July – but is one of 14 MPs who earned more than the Prime Minister in the last year, according to the latest Register of Members’ Interests.

After losing his job, Mr Osborne was signed by the same US agency as Tony Blair, the Washington Speaker Bureau, and embarked on a round of lucrative engagements on both sides of the Atlantic.

His most profitable speeches were two for investment bank JP Morgan, for which he received £81,174 and £60,578, a speech for Palmex Derivatives (£80,240), and another for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (£69,992).

Mr Osborne has defended his right to make a living outside of his MP’s salary, claiming: “As a member of parliament I disclose all my earnings. These are relatively new rules. I think it’s quite right that people can see what I do and what I am paid and so on.

“It’s very similar to what previous chancellors, Labour and Conservative, have done in the past.”

Another former Tory Chancellor, Ken Clarke, is the second highest earner, making an additional £599,160 on top of his salary, much of it from public speaking and advance payments for a book.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is the fifth highest earner, topping up his parliamentary salary with an additional £356,459 – including £250,000 for his column in The Telegraph - which he gave up after being appointed to his new role.

Mr Johnson was also in receipt of a monthly income of £3,982.50 as Mayor of London until Sadiq Khan took over this May.

The figures reveal 13 of the top 14 earning MPs are Conservatives, with former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg the only non-Tory in the top ten earners. He earned an additional £193,040 – including more than £36,000 for one speech he gave to Barclays Bank during the EU Referendum campaign.

Other high earning Tory MPs include Nadine Dorries, who earns most of her income as a novelist, Geoffrey Cox QC and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

Mr Soames, a former military man, declares income from various sources, including a monthly salary of £9,166.67 as chairman of Garda World – a leading security contractor in Iraq.

Calls for greater regulation of MPs’ ability to earn second incomes intensified after the “cash for access” scandal in 2015, when two former foreign secretaries, Conservative Sir Malcom Rifkind and Labour’s Jack Straw, were filmed discussing the possibility of payments in return for their influence to benefit a fictitious Chinese company - but no action was taken.

Top ten highest earning MPs in the past year:-

1. George Osborne - £627,891

2 Ken Clarke - £599,160

3 Geoffrey Cox - £577,868

4 Nadhim Zahawi - £359,746

5 Boris Johnson - £356,459

6 Nadine Dorries - £333,467

7 Nicholas Soames - £245,423

8 Edward Garnier - £233,910

9 Nick Clegg - £193,040

10 Fiona Bruce - £145,350

11 Jeremy Quin - £117,552

12 Andrew Mitchell - £115,200

13 Henry Bellingham - £113,000

14 Sir Alan Duncan - £90,000

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in