Liam Fox implicated in Tory sleaze row

North Somerset Conservative MP Liam Fox is thoroughly implicated in the ongoing row surrounding sleaze in the Tory party.

Second homes

Dr Fox charges the taxpayer £2,167 a month in rent expenses for a Westminster flat; this is not uncommon for MPs to do. You may be surprised, however, to learn that in the meantime he earns at least £10,000 from his own flat in London.

Our MP is lining his own pockets at a time when his constituents are suffering the effects of the housing crisis. Is this right?

Image reads: Liam Fox claims £2,167 a month to rent Westminster flat but earns at least £10,000 a year as a London landlord. Stop the sleaze.
Image reads: Liam Fox claims £2,167 a month to rent Westminster flat but earns at least £10,000 a year as a London landlord. Stop the sleaze.

Second jobs

Dr Fox recently signed the amendment trying to change the rules to protect his pal Owen Paterson after he was found to have been earning £100,000 a year as a lobbyist. Had the government not u-turned, this would have opened the door to corruption.

It’s no surprise Fox wanted to protect Paterson when you look at his own financial disclosures. Despite being paid handsomely to represent North Somerset in Parliament, Liam Fox also earns tens of thousands of pounds on the side working second jobs. Here are a few examples:

  • £10,000 for zero hours’ work for a Panama PR company which, amongst others, once represented the former dictator Augusto Pinochet
  • Nearly £630 per hour writing newspaper articles for the Daily Mail and Telegraph
  • £20,000 for four speeches around the world from Geneva to New York
  • Book deal conversations with Quercus Editions
  • Advisor to Arcs Energy
  • Chair of Conservative Friends of America
  • Chair of Global Britain Commission
  • Chair of UK Abraham Accords Group

Fox’s financial disclosures show these 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. jobs have earned him over £40,000. How does he have time to perform his parliamentary duties if he has so many other jobs? Whilst his constituents endure zero hours contracts and cuts to universal credit, can Liam Fox claim to be in touch with the issues facing those he represents?

    Dodgy donations

    Records show Dr Fox has received over £83,000 in donations. The following are some examples:

    • £10,000 from Alexander Temerko and £20,000 from his power company. He is a Russian oil and gas oligarch and former Soviet official in the Russian Defence Ministry
    • Free holiday home use from a French real estate developer
    • Two free £650 royal box Wimbledon tickets
    •  £2,500 from James Reuben, son of billionaire property investor David Reuben and Chairman of Boris Johnson’s 2008 London Mayoral campaign
    • £15,000 from Dukehill Services real estate company
    • £8,000 from management consultancy Are Partnership
    • £5,000 from David Ord, owner of Royal Portbury Dock and member of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

    What do these wealthy international donors expect in return from Liam Fox for these generous gifts? What do they have to gain by having a friend in Westminster? Is Fox going to work in their interests or his constituents’?

      What would Labour do?

      Labour has a five point plan to clean up Westminster.

      Firstly, ban all second jobs for MPs, with very limited exemptions, starting with a vote tomorrow on banning MPs from working as a paid Parliamentary strategist, adviser, or consultant.

      Secondly, stop the revolving door between Government and the companies that ministers are supposed to regulate with a ban for five years after leaving office.

      Third, stop Tory plans for foreign money in British politics and create strict rules about donations from shell companies.

      Fourthly, stop waste and corruption with taxpayers’ money with a new Office for Value for Money and reform of the public procurement system.

      And fifthly, strengthen the government standards system with a new independent Integrity and Ethics Commission to defend and extend standards in government.

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