Shropshire Star

Philip Dunne insists he follows rules over £40,000-a-year second job

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne says he has followed all House of Commons rules relating to his £40,000-a-year role as a non-executive director of an engineering firm.

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Ludlow MP Philip Dunne speaking in the House of Commons

He was among Conservative MPs listed by the Labour Party as it raised questions about members with second jobs.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has reportedly called for details of Mr Dunne's correspondence and meetings with Reaction Engines Ltd to be published.

Mr Dunne has earned around £50,000 since July last year from his work. The MP's register of interests includes an entry about the Oxford-based firm.

It states that from July 1, 2020, he has been engaged as a non-executive director of Reaction Engines Ltd in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

"From August 1, 2020, until further notice, I receive £3,333 a month," the register states.

It adds that Mr Dunne does eight hours of work per month for the company. The entry was registered on July 21 last year and was last updated on September 8, 2020.

Mr Dunne said he has followed all guidelines, adding: “I have disclosed my interests as a non-executive director of the company in accordance with the requirements of the House under the code of conduct for Members of Parliament.”

Speaking about Mr Dunne's role for Reaction Engines, a spokesman for the company said: "Reaction Engines is a UK-headquartered technology company and has received research and development funding both private and public sources as well as revenue from civilian commercial customers.

"All funding received from UK Government sources has followed the strict due diligence procedures set out by the UK government.

"Philip Dunne has been employed as a non-executive director at Reaction Engines since July 2020 and has not arranged or attended any meetings with ministers nor has he been involved in any of Reaction Engines’ discussions with ministers or officials related to UK Government contracts or investment decisions.”

Fellow Conservative Shropshire MP Daniel Kawczynski is also paid £3,000 a month for a second job.

The Shrewsbury MP works as a consultant for New York based-Electrum, a mining investment firm. For the last three years the register of MPs' interests has shown Mr Kawczynski is expected to work 30 hours each month for the company, however this week the number of hours has been updated to 15. The amount of monthly pay has not changed.

Second jobs have come into focus since North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson was found to have broken paid lobbying rules for two companies that between them paid him more than £100,000 per year as a consultant.

The senior Conservative resigned amid a row over alleged sleaze and corruption which saw the Prime Minister attempt to change Parliament's disciplinary rules before U-turning within 24 hours.

Lucy Allan is the only Shropshire representative not to have never had a second job while an MP.

Wrekin's MP Mark Pritchard no longer has any registered consultancy work but has previously held a variety of roles. In 2019 he had a combined expected monthly commitment of more than 50 hours each month for companies that between them paid him more than £6,400 a month.

Clients of his consultancy firm have included intelligence and security firm the Soufan Group and the Consumer Credit Association.

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