Two British MPs, former ministers, were caught on camera negotiating £10,000-a-day assignments to advise an obscure South Korean firm, a practice that was legal but sparked debate in Britain on Sunday.
The two Conservatives Matt Hancock, who was health minister during the pandemic, and Kwasi Kwarteng, short-lived finance minister in the fall of 2022, were framed by activists from the organization Led By Donkeys, who had come forward for their anti-Brexit campaigns.
In the UK, it is legal for MPs to have a job in addition to their office, and there is no restriction on the amount of income they can earn.
However, they must declare them in a public register.
Led By Donkeys explains in a video on Twitter that they wanted to do an "
" in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
At a time when people need their MPs more than ever, would a member of parliament accept a job promoting the interests of a foreign company, and how much would they like to be paid?
The organization imagined a South Korean company wishing to develop its activities in the United Kingdom and contacted twenty MPs.
They are expected to attend six advisory board meetings per year.
The majority did not respond but negotiations started on Zoom with Matt Hancock and Kwasi Kwarteng.
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“Being an MP is a full-time job”
Do you have a daily rate?
“, is it asked to the first.
Right now, yes, it's 10,000 pounds sterling (11,340 euros)
," he replies.
Matt Hancock has already been talked about by participating in the fall on a reality TV show in Australia while being an MP.
Kwasi Kwarteng replies that he would not accept less than 10,000 dollars (9,280 euros) per month, then finally tries 10,000 pounds sterling per day.
In September, Kwasi Kwarteng, then finance minister, presented a budget that created a storm in financial markets.
He was fired from the government a few weeks later.
The latter did not react to the video of Led By Donkeys.
A spokesman for Matt Hancock said he followed the rules.
Asked Sunday morning on Sky News, the Minister for Territorial Rebalancing Michael Gove also explained that “
the things proposed were in the rules
What is important is whether an MP lives up to the expectations of his constituents
," he added.
But for Labor MP Lucy Powell, “
being an MP is a full-time job
I don't think anyone can watch this video without being disgusted
,” she added, saying there was “
” with the current rules.