Millionaire Tory MP gives the most pathetic excuse for failing to declare £400,000 in extra earnings

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The highest-paid Tory MP has apologised after ‘forgetting’ to declare £400,000 of extra income on time – despite remembering to claim a 49p bottle of milk on expenses.

Millionaire Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox works part-time as a barrister to top up his £74,000 MP salary.

He clocked 500 hours between January and August in 2015, but failed to declare the extra work – because he’d forgot to hire an office clerk to do it for him.

The backbencher, who claimed for a 49p bottle of milk and £2 worth of tea bags, had no problem remembering his expenses, however.

He stood down from Westminster’s cross-party standards committee in October after referring himself to the Commissioner over the rule breach.

He apologised to the House of Commons today after a report from the Parliament’s Standards Commissioner branded his oversight as a “serious breach of House rules”.

He told the inquiry he’d forgotten to replace his retired office clerk, whom he’d employed to submit the paperwork on his behalf.

Read on...

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MPs have 28 days to declare outside income under Commons rules, but Mr Cox missed the deadline, failing to submit seven payments made over a period of seven months.

His eye-watering six-figure earnings surpass the Prime Minister’s £142,000 salary by five times – and even trump some Premier League footballers.

In a 49 second apology to the House, he said:

The House has a right to expect of its members – and particularly those on the Standards Committee as I was – that they will uphold those rules to the fullest extent.

For this reason I have stepped down from the standards committee and I hope that the house will accept my sincere and full-hearted apology for my failure to observe this important rule.

Featured image via parliamentlive.tv screen shot

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