Published in Nailsea People.

North Somerset MP Liam Fox has taken on 15 second jobs since the last general election and is set to rake in almost as much money from his non-Parliamentary earnings over the past year as the average annual salary of his constituents, new official figures have revealed.

The latest register of MPs’ financial interests shows that Liam Fox is due to receive a staggering £28,400 for just 10 hours of external work declared over the past year – compared with the average annual full-time salary of people in North Somerset of £32,491. This is on top of his elected duties, for which he earns a basic annual salary of £86,584, plus expenses and allowances.

The North Somerset MP is expecting to be paid £20,000 in retainer fees by the Panama-based public relations firm WorldPR, despite having done no work for them in the past 12 months. WorldPR’s clients have previously included the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, lawyers working for the Libyan government to secure the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and the Kazakh and Azerbaijani governments.

Liam Fox is also due to receive £8,000 for eight hours of work as chair of the Global Britain Commission – a business lobby group whose members include representatives of the banking industry group UK Finance, the private bank Coutts, the accountancy firm EY, Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic, and Forth Ports.

He also holds several unpaid appointments for which he does not declare his working hours.

In total, the North Somerset MP has declared 15 second jobs since the 2019 General Election, earning him £86,780.

The MP’s earnings also come on top of the donations and free trips he has received from a wide range of sources – including business interests, the government of Bahrain and the Bristol Port Company – which total more than £356,000 since the election.

In stark comparison, Labour’s four Bristol MPs have earned a combined total of just £5,628 on top of their MP salaries since the 2019 General Election. The vast majority of this came from completing online surveys. In addition, Thangham Debbonaire earned £3,405 which was donated to charity.

“It has to be questioned whether an MP whose annual income stands at around four times the average household earnings in his constituency is in touch with the everyday problems and realities that confront most of us during a prolonged cost-of-living crisis,” said North Somerset Labour Party activist Mike Hitchens.

“Voters will also reflect on how effectively they can be represented by an MP who spends time lobbying on behalf of businesses and is happy to pocket sums of money that most people can only dream of instead of focussing on tackling North Somerset’s many problems,” he added.

“It has to be hoped that Liam Fox has simply been building his pension pot ahead of the next election,” Mr Hitchens said. Independent polling showing that Liam Fox could lose his seat to Labour if only 1% of Green, Lib Dem and other voters use their vote tactically.

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