If there is one thing you can say about Jack Straw, it is that he is regimentally strict about declaring his expenses.
In the past 15 months, therefore, we know he was paid £48,000 for speaking engagements at home and abroad (this included £20,000 for a speech at the University of Southern California on ‘Global Conversation’).
So Obiter was a little concerned at what looked like an oversight after no declaration was made of any payment following Straw’s appearance at the Association of British Insurers conference in March.
Obiter can personally vouch that the former justice secretary, whose trenchant views on the compensation culture have been warmly received by the ABI, spoke for at least 30 minutes.
So do we have another scandal on our hands? Has the member for Blackburn been making money on the side and failing to declare?
Thankfully not. Quite the opposite, in fact. Generous Jack actually gave up his time for free.
His press person told Obiter that ‘Mr Straw received no fee for his appearance at this conference’.
How nice to see, after so much cynicism in recent weeks about MPs’ earnings, Mr Straw has foregone his fee to help out a sector that is responsible for investments of £1.8 trillion a year in the UK. We hope they at least offered him a cup of tea and a biscuit.