Better than going down the pub! Tory defends £20k consultancy job as sleaze row rages on

Tory MP defends Conservative actions amid ‘sleaze’ controversy

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Bromley and Chislehurst MP Sir Bob Neill launched a desperate defence of his £20,000 law consultancy job which he carries out alongside his work as an MP as he threw his support behind disgraced Conservative MP’s Owen Paterson and Sir Geoffrey Cox amid a row over second jobs in Westminster.

Sir Bob told talkRADIO that those immersed in the ongoing row “need to take a step back” from what he branded was “highly politicised attacks” from Labour and the left on the issue of second jobs.

He suggested: “It has always been established that MP’s are entitled to have outside work.”

The Conservative MP acknowledged that despite his defence, there are limits and rules that have to be stuck to by MP’s as he accepted he carries out his own £20,000-a-year consultancy work.

Sir Bob was clear that unlike Sir Geoffrey Cox, who is being investigated for holding a law consultancy job which pays upwards of £1 million-a=year, his constituents “know all about” his own work.

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While in a further defence of second jobs Sir Bob Neil went on to claim it was “not a bad thing” that MP’s are carrying out such roles.

He went so far as to claim second jobs keep MP’s “in touch with the world outside Westminster”. 

But he was adamant that any job must be carried out on the basis that parliamentary work “comes first”.

Host Ian Collins however pulled him up on the claim questioning whether second jobs for MP’s really are “the only way” to keep in contact with the world outside Westminster.

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Sir Bob hit back, adding: “If I chose to spend my time once I’ve done my parliamentary work… doing some work that helps with my family.”

“Then I think that is reasonable.”

But in a bizarre suggestion the Conservative MP said consultancy work is more favourable “than going down the pub for example”.

The comments follow a meteoric fallout within the Conservative party amid second jobs held by MP’s.

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