MP challenged to give up 2nd job

The Conservative MP for the Cotswolds is facing a call to give up his second job outside Parliament.

British banknotes – money

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, has challenged Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to put an end to his substantial second income after new figures show that the MP has earned an average of over £4,000 per day from his second job.

Cllr Hodgkinson throws down the gauntlet by committing to have no earnings outside Parliament if elected this May:

“Serving constituents full time is in my opinion a basic requirement of being an MP. I don’t see how anyone can do the job properly if they are spending time earning substantial amounts elsewhere.”

According to the Parliamentary register of the MP’s declared earnings and interests he has received a total of £164,000 from August 2011 until July 2014 from earnings outside Westminster. This was for a total of 105 days work, or 626 hours. Mr Clifton-Brown’s average rate over this period was £4,450 per day or £742 per hour.

The register states that the MP is a partner in East Peckham partnership, which is engaged in arable farming in Norfolk.

Cllr Hodgkinson commented:

“There are so many things which need addressing locally – protecting our unique countryside, getting decent roads and services like phone coverage and fast broadband to name but some. To stand up for the Cotswolds on these issues demands total focus and if I am elected as MP in May I will be full time. I will close down my business and will take no other income from work outside Parliament. As a matter of principle I will be a full time MP concentrating only on that role and nothing else.

“I have challenged Mr Clifton-Brown to commit to taking no further earnings from outside Parliament but he declined. Now that these latest figures have been published I ask him again – will he follow my lead in agreeing to being a full time MP?”

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has been the MP for the Cotswolds since 1992 and featured prominently in the expenses scandal in 2009 when he ‘flipped’ his £3 million home in Daglingworth.

MP challenged to go full-time

The Conservative MP for the Cotswolds has faced a call to give up his earnings outside Parliament.

Paul Hodgkinson has committed to being a full-time MP

Paul Hodgkinson has committed to being a full-time MP

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, has challenged Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to put an end to his substantial second income after it was revealed that the MP has earned an average of £860 per hour from his second job.

Following an article in the Wilts and Glos Standard, Cllr Hodgkinson throws down the gauntlet by committing to have no earnings outside Parliament if elected next year:

“I call on Mr Clifton-Brown to ask his agreement to something which seems to me fundamental.

Serving constituents full time is in my opinion a basic requirement of being an MP. The job of an MP pays four times the average full-time salary in the Cotswolds. It comes with additional allowances for certain aspects of the job, and expenses for travel and other costs. Most of an MP’s constituents would be extremely grateful to receive such benefits.

According to the Parliamentary register of the MP’s declared interests Mr Clifton-Brown has received a total of £125,000 from August 2011 until November 2013 from earnings outside Westminster. This was for a total of 80 days work, or 478 hours. This equates to an average rate of £5,000 per day or £860 per hour.

Cllr Hodgkinson commented:

” I have nothing against high earnings but if I am elected as MP in May 2015 I will be a full time MP. I will close down my business and will take no other income from work outside Parliament. I can’t see how I would have the time, but as a matter of principle I will be a full time MP concentrating only on that role and nothing else.

“If those extra days were spent in the constituency could they not have added something to society? Could they not have been used to Improve services locally? Or change something?

Councillor Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) makes it clear that nothing other than being a full time representative for the Cotswolds is acceptable:

“Will Mr Clifton-Brown commit today to taking no further earnings from outside Parliament? Will he follow my lead in agreeing to being a full time MP?”

Mr Clifton-Brown has been the MP for the Cotswolds since 1992 and featured prominently in the expenses scandal in 2009 when he ‘flipped’ his £3 million home in Daglingworth.

 

Lib Dems choose Cotswold Leader to be prospective MP

Cotswold Liberal Democrats have selected their high profile leader on Cotswold District Council as their new Parliamentary Candidate.

PPC group pic

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson’s selection comes just four months after he stunned the Conservatives by becoming the first Lib Dem to win the so-called ‘true blue’ seat of Bourton and Northleach in this May’s county council elections.

The 51-year-old, who has lived in the Cotswolds for 25 years, will be up against the Cotswolds’ Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who has held the seat since 1992.

“I have made this beautiful area my home and set up my small business here,” he said. “Residents asked me to stand after seeing my record as a councillor and I will be the voice for the many who feel disconnected from decisions made in Cirencester and at Shire Hall in Gloucester. I want to give our area a real voice, actively speaking up for it rather than seeing some MPs motivated by their own pockets.”

Cllr Hodgkinson was first elected to Cotswold District Council for the Churn Valley in 2007 and has held the rural seat since then. He became leader of the council’s Lib Dems four years ago, going on to steer the opposition group to the party’s best results nationally in 2011 when they gained seven seats to take their total to 12.

A successful local businessman with a strong record of campaigning for local people, he has fought against high parking charges, led road safety campaigns and challenged unethical behaviour by public figures in the Cotswold Water Park fraud scandal.

The news was welcomed by Cirencester mayor Joe Harris who was mentored by Cllr Hodgkinson after he became the country’s youngest district councillor at the age of 19.

“The Cotswolds needs a change of representation at Westminster and Paul is the best man for the job,” said Cllr Harris. “Under his leadership we have been standing up for Cotswolds people on the big issues that matter  – tackling the cost of living in our area, working to sort out transport problems and protecting the unique character of the district. We need someone as our MP who can take the case to Parliament and get some action.”

Cllr Hodgkinson is planning to build on the dramatic swing to the Liberal Democrats across the Cotswolds which saw them gain three seats in May’s County Council elections.

“There is a demand for change and  growing disillusionment with the performance of the Tories locally, right through from district and county level to our MP’s track record in Parliament,” he said.

“It is shameful that our MP has done little to address the fact that the Cotswolds suffers from some of the highest rural house prices in the country coupled with low average wages.

“Those in power have concentrated on turning the area into a second home haven for privileged outsiders while ignoring the pressing needs of working local families. That is something I will be fighting to change.

“Our progress at district and county level has already shaken the Tories and we will be working hard to make the 2015 general election the next major upset.

“You can really feel the breath of fresh air that our new councillors have brought to local politics and it is gratifying that the voters have noticed. Mr Clifton-Brown has had 22 years to get things fixed in the constituency and has been a part-time MP. I will do everything I can to build a stronger economy and a fairer society in the Cotswolds and give this area the effective and energetic representation it so badly needs at Westminster.”