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MPs' second jobs , Issue 1565

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JOB LOSSES: Big earning MP Andrew Mitchell, who has dropped some of his extra-parliamentary interests, but not the juicier ones 
IN the flurry of second job resignations following the Owen Paterson debacle, big earner and former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell ditched a couple of his less remunerative sidelines (£30,000 a year from EY and £12,000 from Investec), but did hang on to the juicier ones.

These include £36,000 a year from consultancy Montrose for eight days' work; £15,000 for two and a half days from developing economy investment firm Arch Emerging Markets Partners, 'plus commission for introducing any new business' (which of course won't involve trading on his previous public office); £39,600 for nine days from Rwandan investment bank SouthBridge; and, best of all, £50,000 a year from Kingsley Capital Partners.

This private equity outfit invests in medical cannabis company Equinox International, in which Mitchell is also earning shares as part of the deal. These could prove valuable since the company, which claims to have 'one of the first commercially scaled medical cannabis cultivation and production licences issued by the UK Home Office', announced in November that it would be floating its shares on the stock market.

Mitchell, who in July 2019 wrote a piece in the Evening Standard arguing for decriminalising and regulating cannabis, is a late convert to the weed. Ahead of the 2015 general election, the Birmingham Mail reported how he responded to a rival advocating legalisation by insisting that 'current laws draw on the best available evidence and it is worth noting that official advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs confirms that cannabis is a significant public health risk'. But now very much a private wealth opportunity for the MP.

Pro-Bonehead

PERHAPS the saddest entries in the latest register of MPs' interests are to be found under the name of Daniel Kawczynski, clobbered yet again last week by the Commons standards committee for undermining his own apology last year over bullying allegations.

To deal with his various tribulations (lately worsened by revelations in the Guardian over his begging for work with Saudi paymasters and invoking his Commons work to do so), Kawczynski has repeatedly had to go cap in hand to m'learned friends for some 'pro bono legal assistance', as he put it.

Most freebie help over the past year has come from Anton van Dellen of Frasers chambers (whose specialisms include professional regulatory proceedings), at £1,680, then W Legal Ltd (£1,300) and Damian Falkowski (£900). Which is quite generous to an MP who voted for legal aid restrictions under the coalition government's austerity programme!

Kawczynski is struggling to pay for legal bills because his main payer, on top of his £82,000 MP's salary, is mineral investment company Electrum (Eye 1466), which halved his fees to a mere £36,000 a year for two days' work a month.

On top of this, Kawczynski declares £10,000 from Exeter-based internet advertising company ADR Technologies, whose offer includes, Cambridge Analytica-style, 'mass exposure, constituent influence, bespoke data analytics as well as polling and message testing'.

To read all these stories in full, please buy issue 1565 of Private Eye - you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 2nd February 2022
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Private Eye Issue 1565
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Nad tidings
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