Tue 21 September 2021

New analysis shows that, despite his populist announcements, the Prime Minister was the highest earning MP during the last Parliament.

Boris Johnson was the highest earning MP in the last Parliament – claiming nearly £800,000 in second jobs, royalties and speaking fees, new data analysis has revealed.

Johnson’s total earnings – including his salaries as Foreign Secretary, Prime Minister and Member of Parliament or Uxbridge and South Ruislip – came to almost £1 million.  

At £795,867, Johnson’s “second job” earnings were almost £200,000 ahead of his nearest male rival, Nicholas Soames – who earned £606,419 – and more than six-and-a-half times those of the highest paid female MP, Nadine Dorries. This was on top of Johnson’s parliamentary salary of £77,000 a year.

The “second jobs” figures have been compiled by DataLobo, using the Parliamentary Register of Financial Interests.

Considering that the Prime Minister’s extracurricular income was only for 13 months of the 30 month life of the Parliament, the figures are even more remarkable.

Two annual reports for the Foreign Office show that, as Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018, Johnson received £98,000 including a £21,000 pension contribution on top of his parliamentary salary. He also received a £16,876.25 severance payment after he resigned from the position following the Brexit row with Theresa May last July.

As Prime Minister, he is earning £13,166 a month – a figure which he is said to have told friends is not enough to live on.

His main second job as a contributor to the Telegraph netted him £274,992, which he described as “chicken feed”. He was also earning £450,000 through speeches – including, according to the parliamentary register: £122,899.74 from news and entertainment conglomerate Living India Media; £38,250 from Citigroup Global Markets in Canary Wharf; £42,580 from the Swiss Economic Forum; and £51,250 from Pendulum Events & Training, a Dublin-based business and motivation company set up by former Irish rugby international Frankie Sheahan. At the last event, Johnson was paid almost £1,000 a minute for a 54-minute speech.

He also received £54,136 in book royalties and for other articles.

The highest paid woman MP, Nadine Dorries, received £110,000 in books advances and £9,641 in royalties, She also earned £7,920 for filming for ITV.  Her total income was £127,761.

What the DataLobo Analysis Shows

Between June 2017 and October 2019, MPs earned £8.4 million in addition to their parliamentary salary (an average of £12,900 per MP).

Over half of this amount was earned by just 15 MPs, reflecting the huge gulf between well off MPs and those only earning their parliamentary salary. Some 371 of the 650 MPs had no second jobs.

Men earned more than women, both in nominal terms and per hour. The average male MP earned £159 per hour. The average female MP earned £116.

Conservatives earned an average of £24,000, more than MPs from any other party. Labour MPs earned an average of £1,890.

Of the other party leaders, Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, earned the most from second jobs. He received £99,246 as chairman of the Glasgow-based Golden Charter Trust Ltd and chairman of the Edinburgh-based Commsworld Plc. The first company provides funeral plans and has £1.1 billion in assets.

Jeremy Corbyn earned nothing, while Jo Swinson earned £2,805. But the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Ed Davey, was among the top 10 MPs, earning £235,333. His register entry states that the money goes into a fund for his disabled son.

View the full data set here.


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