Northampton South MP making thousands in extra cash from consultancy work

Andrew Lewer's work as a consultant alongside his full-time MP role has proven to be lucrative

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By Sarah Ward

Andrew Lewer, the Conservative MP for Northampton South has earned just under £50,000 to work as a consultant while also carrying out his parliamentarian role.

Lewer, first elected in 2017 and returned again as MP for the area in 2019, has had lucrative second jobs advising property developers and hoteliers while also carrying out his parliamentarian role. 

The politician, who is paid £82,000 for his MP role, currently receives an additional £750 a month to act as senior counsel to Lincolnshire based property firm GIN Property and another £400 a month to give public policy advice to Derbyshire Penelope Thornton Hotels. From November 2017 to February this year he was also paid £400 each month to give advice to another Derbyshire firm Drakelow Development Holdings Ltd.

Using details from the parliamentary publication listing MP’s financial interests, NN Journal has calculated that the Northampton South MP has earned around £49,100 for the paid roles, earning between £100 and £187.50 per hour for his efforts. 

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Second jobs held by the MPs are currently under the microscope in light of the Owen Paterson scandal which has rocked parliament and the Conservative Party in the past week.

The MP, who was paid hundreds of thousands in consultancy fees by two companies, was found by the independent standards commissioner to have breached the rules which prevent MPs lobbying on behalf of any private companies they work for.

The matter caused a stink when a move by Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom to review the current standards process was voted for by the majority of MPs last Wednesday. Boris Johnson’s government then did a u-turn on the decision after it received a huge backlash from the public and national media.

In an emergency parliamentary debate held yesterday into the standards debacle, Labour reiterated calls to stop MPs taking paid consultancies and opposition leader Keir Starmer said by seeking to change the standards procedures last week, Boris Johnson had ‘given the green light to corruption’.

Lewer, among 30 MPs named by the Guardian, has seen his consultancy income rise each year since his election to parliament in 2017.

He earned £800 in consultancy fees in 2017; £4,800 in 2018; £11,450 in 2019; £18,600 in 2020 and has pocketed £13,350 so far this year.

He chairs a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups including the one for small housebuilders. The APPGs are informal groups made up of MPs from across the political parties and can help backbenchers set the agenda.

According to the APPG register the purpose of the APPG on small house builders is to: examine the operations of SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) house builders in the UK; discover and highlight best practice; review the regulatory environment affecting the market, looking at ways of improving the delivery of new homes, and making recommendations on how Parliament can improve regulation to deliver more effective building of homes by SMEs.

A statement given to NN Journal by Lewer’s office, said: ​​“Andrew’s roles are published and updated on the public parliamentary register and his dealings with them are not in any way connected either with his parliamentary duties or his constituency.

“There is no conflict of interest and he has never lobbied any government department on behalf of these companies.

“Andrew strictly adheres to the code of conduct at all times and will continue to do so."

Lewer, 50, is a former leader of Derbyshire County Council and was the MEP for East Midlands from 2014 to 2017.

According to the financial register of MPs interests, none of the other six MPs elected by Northamptonshire residents have paid consultancy roles.

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