12:00pm Monday 27th January 2014
By Shaun Dix
THE MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, has been accused of being out of touch with his constituents after details of his second earnings were brought to light.
An anonymous document, which was sent to the Standard, showed that Mr Clifton-Brown earned more than £120,000 for working less than 80 days between August 2011 and November 2013.
Mr Clifton-Brown, 60, who earns £66,396 as a Member of Parliament, receives a second income through his work as a partner in the East Peckham partnership, an arable farming business in Norfolk.
He said: “My business arrangements have been the same for the entire 21 years that I have been the Member of Parliament for this area. A few years ago the House of Commons changed the rules so that all taxable earnings and hours spent have to be declared.
“This was a welcome change in transparency and something that I am happy to comply with.”
The document, which contains a detailed breakdown of the MP’s earnings, shows that in July 2012 Mr Clifton Brown made a total of £31,852.57 for 35 hours of work, or the equivalent of 5.83 working days.
Other months were less lucrative with the Cotswold MP taking only £157.52 in September 2013 despite working 25 hours, or the equivalent of 4.17 working days.
It is also understood that Mr Clifton-Brown has another income through letting properties in London, details of which were not included in the anonymous letter.
Paul Hodgkinson, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for the Cotswolds, said that many of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown’s electors would be surprised by the figures.
He said: “There is this aura that the Cotswolds is the playground of the wealthy but it’s not. The average salary in the Cotswolds is around £20,000, less than the national average.
“I think most of his constituents would be really grateful to receive his salary. In fact, it’s what most people can only dream about.
“I’ve got nothing against high earnings but this is someone who has been elected to be a full time MP. He should be concentrating on this and nothing else.”
Cllr Hodgkinson told the Standard that, should he be elected to Parliament in 2015, he would call time on his own executive coaching business.
Responding to Cllr Hodgkinson, Mr Clifton-Brown said: “I would like to assure my constituents that my commitment to this constituency is just as great as it always has been.
"It is a constituency that is one of the largest in the South of England and it also has a very diverse mix of issues that have to be dealt with.
“I always think that I do a week’s work in London and a week’s worth of work in the constituency at the weekend.
“My constituency surgery advice dates are fixed a year in advance and I spend one weekend a month away from the constituency. I also take some holidays away from the constituency.”
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group