Conservative MPs face intense scrutiny of their personal financial affairs this morning as the party’s ongoing sleaze scandal dominates British politics for a second week in a row. Boris Johnson bottled yesterday’s emergency Commons debate on MPs’ standards, went on a chicken run to Northumberland and refused to apologize for the Owen Paterson debacle, allowing Labour leader Keir Starmer to accuse him of “running scared” and “cowering away” in one of his punchiest parliamentary performances to date. Today’s newspapers are the most brutal No. 10 has faced since, er, last week, with the story once again making every front page. The danger Downing Street faces this morning as it limps through to recess is that the next few days leave a vacuum filled by journalists dissecting Conservative MPs’ entries in the register of interests — as Caribbean-based part-time MP Geoffrey Cox is finding out as he becomes the next top Tory fighting for his occasional political career. (Politico)
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Sir Geoffrey yesterday revealed he has earned more than £1million from outside legal work over the past year on top of his £82,000 salary as a backbencher.
A Whitehall insider said: ‘While he should have been in the UK working for his constituents he’s been over in the British Virgin Islands doing his second job working as a barrister and advising those accused of trousering cash for their mates.’