Tory MP forgot declaration of £400,000…but remembered 49p claim for milk

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

Geoffrey Cox, Westminster’s highest-earning Tory MP was a tad careless and forgot to declare £400k worth of income from outside interests, but managed to remember to claim for a pint of milk, at a cost of 49 pence.

Cox is paid £74,000 a year as an MP but works hundreds of hours as a QC. Unfortunately he broke time limits for registering five hundred hours work he did between Jan and Aug 2015. His excuse was that his office clerk’s retirement caused the late submission.

However, during June and August he found a few spare minutes to claim for four 49 pence pints of milk. In the end it was pointless as his claims were turned down by the expenses team. In a double blow his additional claim for  two pounds worth of teabags was thrown out as well.

Yesterday he apologised to the House of Commons for the oversight and he also stepped down as a member of Westminster’s cross-party standards committee last Oct. A Parliament’s Standards Commissioner report said his actions were a “serious breach of the House’s rules.”

Eleven payments over seven months from January to early August 2015 were declared to the House long after the 28-day window for revealing outside income had expired.

Back in 2014, the MP declared £820,000 in outside earnings – 12 times his salary as an MP. Last year, he carried out 1,953 hours of outside work, meaning he got paid twenty pounds every three minutes.

His additional earnings alone was five times the Prime Minister’s salary of £142,000.

His apology to the House lasted 49 seconds, the same number of the price of a pint of milk, during which he said: “The House has a right to expect of its members – and particularly those on the Standards Committee as I was – that they will uphold those rules to the fullest extent.

“For this reason I have stepped down from the standards committee and I hope that the house will accept my sincere and full-hearted apology for my failure to observe this important rule.”

12 Responses

  1. 1953 extra hours in a year over his Mp job.
    That is 37 hours a week for 52 weeks!
    When and how did this guy manage to fit in any MPs work?
    That’s fkn scandalous he gets 74000 plus expenses for being a part time MP.

    1. S JONES

      Brian you’ve hit the nail on the head. Being an MP should be a full time role and work outside of this should be banned. Too many MP’s are only in it to protect their own interests and not those of the electorate.

  2. terryindorset

    come on…..this is a seriously corrupt country run by congenital criminals…..fleecing people is what they do !!! I at least expect nothing else at my 70 yrs…..

  3. george

    He forgot ” “” he is a high ranking Qc They are paid not to forget.
    How can he work as well as being a MP, how many hours did work as a MP or how many hours was in parliament for each week , did he miss important votes, “one more” who paid for his london office.
    He did claim for a £90 pounds fridge i believe
    A million pound a year job and he claims 49p look closer he having a good old laugh.
    he is a member of Westminster’s cross-party standards committee for gods sake.

  4. Dave crow

    What did you expect from a untrustworthy corrupt MP

    Most of them are the same ,, this crook has been exposed but SORRY gets him off again …….

  5. Yvonne

    It seems he is concentrating on his work that has nothing to do with being an MP!! He should be sacked !! He is a parasite!!

  6. Nigel

    Do you really think he filled in his own expense claim for the milk and tea bags? Do you think he was even the one who bought them and retained the receipt?

    Unlikely.

    The expense claims are trivial and irrelevant.

    What is relevant, if the story is accurate, is how he could spend so much time on work as a QC, whilst being a full-time MP. I don’t necessarily think MPs should have to cease all other employment, as (such as in this example) they may need to retain some involvement in order to be able to return to their former profession if they cease to be an MP. However, this number of hours is beyond belief and would indicate a strong likelihood that he has not fulfilled his parliamentary duties.

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