Tory MP Geoffrey Cox accused of ‘taking the mick’ over job in Carribbean

Boris Johnson faced fresh pressure to act on MPs’ second jobs as a Conservative former minister took part a Caribbean corruption inquiry

Senior lawyer Sir Geoffrey Cox QC joined day 55 of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry via via video link on Wednesday while the Commons was sitting.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said of the former Attorney General: “Geoffrey Cox is taking the mick and the Prime Minister is letting him get away with it.”

It was a “a test of leadership” for the Prime Minister, she claimed.

A screenshot of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry featuring Sir Geoffrey Cox (PA)
A screenshot of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry featuring Sir Geoffrey Cox (PA)

The Prime Minister has backed a ban on MPs working as paid consultants or lobbyists and insisted that anyone “prioritising outside interests” and neglecting their constituents should face investigation.

Sir Geoffrey has defended his outside interests by arguing that “it is up to the electors of Torridge and West Devon whether or not they vote for someone who is a senior and distinguished professional in his field and who still practices that profession”.

He was asked to advise the BVI government and has described his role at the hearings as being “to assist the public inquiry in getting to the truth”.

Sir Geoffrey was paid more than £54,000 for legal work in October, the most recent update to the register of MPs’ interests shows.

The sum brought his total earnings from legal work for 2021 to almost £955,000 on top of his MP’s salary of £81,932.