Outgoing South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo earned nearly £120k for outside work
Outgoing Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has earned almost £120,000 from work outside the Commons since last August, according to the latest parliamentary records.
The South Suffolk MP and chairman of the energy and climate change select committee was ousted by his constituency party in a high-profile re-adoption battle last year.
Members of the association had been very keen to have an MP who put all their effort into constituency business.
According to the latest register of members’ financial interests, the long-serving MP received the extra cash for 329 hours of work - which is allowed under Parliamentary rules.
Mr Yeo’s work would amount to more than six weeks work, if it was a 48-hour working week. He can also collect an annual salary of £81,936 – £67,060 as a basic MP and an extra £14,876 for being a select committee chairman.
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Mr Yeo, who could not be reached because he was in China last night, was dropped by his party earlier this year after some members felt he was not spending enough time in south Suffolk.
The Register of Members’ Interests is published soon after the beginning of a new Parliament and between publications it is regularly updated.
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Last night, one Conservative in South Suffolk said the figures did not surprise him. Association deputy chairman (political) Simon Barrett said: “To be honest I think this (the outside work) shows why we were right to look for a new candidate.”
Earlier this year they chose Babergh councillor James Cartlidge as their new candidate to fight the seat – which Mr Yeo won with an 8,689 majority in 2010.
Conservative agent Peter Burgoyne said he had had no contact from Mr Yeo after his deselection was confirmed after a ballot of all the association members in February.
He said: “I know he has done some surgeries, but they have not been organised by the association. I have not seen him since the result of the ballot was declared.”
Party members and officials are now concentrating on next year’s general election, and in helping Mr Cartlidge get to know as many voters as possible.
Mr Barrett said: “We are looking to the future. James is getting out and about and is going down well with the voters across South Suffolk.”
Other MPs in the area have declared much lower figures than Mr Yeo.
The second highest-earning MP was Harwich and North Essex’s Bernard Jenkin, who was paid £2,670 for a number of newspaper and magazine articles.
He also accepted hospitality worth £2,400 – taking part in three shoots.
Therese Coffey of Suffolk Coastal accepted hospitality to two events worth £1,895 and was paid £200 for taking part in market research and Bury St Edmunds’ David Ruffley – who is also standing down at the general election – earned £1,090 from making a speech in Cambridge and taking part in market research for YouGov and Ipsos MORI.
None of the area’s other MPs declared any earnings from outside business interests – however some did declare donations to their local associations.
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer’s association was paid a total of £23,000 from donors and from a fundraising dinner. His seat is seen as a key marginal in next year’s general election.
Matthew Hancock’s West Suffolk seat was paid a total of £11,250, including £7,250 from Tetrapak heiress Kirsten Rausing, one of the richest women in the country.
However the total earnings of all these MPs, in money and in gifts, is £8,255 with £34,250 being donated to associations.
That is a fraction of the amount received by their South Suffolk colleague.