Gosport MP and former social care minister Caroline Dinenage defends taking on second job at care home developer

THE MP for Gosport has defended her move to take on work for a care home developer, as the prime minister comes under fire for not curtailing MPs taking on second jobs.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 3:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 3:54 pm

Caroline Dinenage, the borough’s Conservative MP and former health and social care minister, has signed up for a second job working as non-executive director at LNT Group, a developer of new care homes owned by Tory donor Lawrence Tomlinson.

It comes just months after Boris Johnson vowed to crackdown on the outside earnings of MPs, who will see their annual salaries rise to £81,932 from next month.

Ms Dinenage said the role had been fully approved by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), which considers applications for new jobs for former ministers.

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MP Caroline Dinenage at the Gosport Public Health Forum. Picture: Malcolm Wells (190517-7252)

‘It will be two days per month, in my own time, and won’t distract from my work as an MP,’ Ms Dinenage insisted in a statement to The News.

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The ACOBA noted that the MP had toured an LNT site while she was a social care minister – but the committee said that her former department had no concerns about her taking up the job.

But Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said the approval showed that the PM’s pledges to reform second jobs were ‘not worth the paper they are written on’.

The government had pledged to tighten restrictions around lobbying and consultancy after a Commons standards committee consultation, but last week No 10 dropped support for capping hours and earnings.

Stephen Morgan said: ‘The prime minister’s promises are not worth the paper they are written on. As soon as he quietly breaks his promise to tighten up the rules on MPs’ second jobs, it comes to light yet another Tory MP has taken one up.

‘That's why Labour has listened to the British public on their concerns and would ban outside directorships and paid consultancy.

‘The House of Commons must now be given the chance to debate fully and approve any measures put forward by the Standards Committee to toughen up the system.’

Concerns over MPs outside roles follows public outcry over lobbying breaches by MP Owen Paterson and anger over the former attorney general Geoffrey Cox being paid nearly £6m as a lawyer since joining parliament, voting by proxy on days he was undertaking paid work.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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