Keir Starmer second job: Staggering sum Labour leader has raked in

Keir Starmer is grilled on 2017 Mishcon de Reya talks

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The MPs sleaze scandal over second jobs has engulfed Westminster since the resignation of disgraced MP Owen Paterson, who was found to have breached lobbying rules. But the wrath of the public and Parliament is no longer limited to just Tory MPs, with Sir Keir Starmer now brought into the row over historic talks with a City law firm.

The Labour leader had held discussions in mid-2017 with Mishcon de Reya, an independent law firm, but turned it down after criticism that it would conflict with his job leading Labour’s Brexit policy.

The job was advising its “academy” – described on the company’s website as, “Mishcon de Reya’s in-house place of learning, our driver for growth and a platform for thought leadership”.

The current Labour leader was formerly Director of Public Prosecutions and worked as a lawyer prior to becoming an MP.

Sir Keir has denied ever putting in an application for a second job while serving in the Shadow Cabinet as Brexit Secretary.

He said: “I was in discussion, nothing happened.”

He added: “I have given written pieces of legal advice since I’ve been an MP but I have now given up my legal certificate.

“I gave it up the best part of two years ago. That means I’m no longer qualified to give legal advice, and my job is to represent people in Holborn and St Pancras and to bring down this awful Government.”

But this isn’t what former leader Jeremy Corbyn thinks, with the former Labour leader telling of a different version of events.

Mr Corbyn has insisted Sir Keir’s shot at a second income not being permitted was made clear to him.

Mr Corbyn told LBC: “I said this in the very beginning when I was elected leader that nobody who was in a front bench position appointed by me would be allowed to take a second job of any sort.

“We had to concentrate fully on obviously, being constituency MPs but also of their front bench position.

“There was an absolutely clear request and decision made and indeed it was confirmed in writing to every member of the shadow cabinet.”

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A spokesperson for the Labour leader said: “Keir had already said no to the offer before the leader’s office were even aware of it.”

His register of parliamentary interests shows that he has earned more than £25,000 for legal work during this Parliament, carried out before he became Labour leader.

Sir Keir also took home tens of thousands for legal work between when he first became an MP in 2015 and the 2019 general election.

In 2015 he was paid £9,480 for advising the government of Gibraltar, which offers low tax incentives to businesses and residents.

The Labour Party committed to banning MPs holding second jobs in certain industries in its 2019 manifesto under Mr Corbyn.

Asked whether this was still Labour policy on Sunday, Sir Keir said: “In the Labour Party, on consultations and directorships et cetera, we’ve been saying for many many years that they should go.

“We went a step further in 2019 to say no second jobs with clear exemptions.”

He added: “The principle is right. No consultants has been a long-standing position in the Labour Party.”

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