Obiter bashed out a tune on a diminutive violin this week when MP George Freeman admitted that he resigned as science minister because he could not afford to pay his £2,000 a month mortgage. But then who among us could keep a roof over their head on £87k a year plus £32k on top? Austerity bites.
Still, Freeman is probably right that he will be able to do better elsewhere. A look at the most recent register of MPs’ interests shows that the most recently departed justice secretaries (who were paid an extra £67,505 as members of the cabinet) are doing very nicely, thanks.
Dominic Raab left the MoJ last April and has since topped up his income by earning a few thousand writing articles for the Daily Telegraph. Then this month, and rather more lucratively, he began acting as a senior strategic adviser for private equity firm Appian Capital, for which he will trouser £118,000 a year and 0.1% of the profits from any investments.
Sir Brandon Lewis (blink and you’ll have missed him – he lasted six weeks under Liz Truss) has taken on several roles since leaving government. He is a joint director of Bergo Holdings Ltd, which receives £60,000 a year from property developer Thakeham Homes in return for Lewis’ advice (eight hours a month) on corporate strategy and governance. Bergo also receives £60,000 annually from transport firm FM Conway and £30,000 from Civitas Investment Management, supplementing £250,000 a year paid to Bergo for Lewis chairing an Advisory Council on Corporate Governance at an investment business.
He also has use of a company car valued at £10,000 for his work as director of Woodlands Schools Ltd in Brentwood.
Sir Robert Buckland’s extra-mural gigs, meanwhile, include £4,000 a month for 32 hours’ work as senior counsel with Payne Hicks Beach. Among other things, he topped up that sum with £2,500 payments from Norton Rose Fulbright and DAC Beachcroft for attending events at each firm last year.
For what it’s worth (not much. Ed.), Obiter remains available for corporate events, weddings, christenings and barmitzvahs.