Politics

Graham Brady faces questions over ‘opaque’ £800 an hour job | Conservatives


Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative’s influential committee of backbenchers, is facing questions over £800 an hour that he received from a company run by a constituent amid a lack of clarity over the nature of the business.

Brady, who called an emergency meeting of the committee on Wednesday to discuss Boris Johnson’s plans to crack down on second jobs, declared in his register of interests that he receives £10,000 a year for 12 hours’ work for Snowshill Allied Holdings, a company run by constituent Michael Goldstone.

The firm is described by Companies House as “management consultancy activities other than financial management” but has no online presence specifying its activities.

Labour said Brady should refer himself to the parliamentary commissioner for guidance on how to declare the nature of the business he was advising on.

Goldstone told the Guardian that he paid Brady for informal advice because of their friendship, calling him “a very honourable man”, but said he agreed the rules should make it clearer what business an MP was involved with so there could be no confusion.

He said: “He has never brought me in a penny of business and has never intervened on my behalf in politics and he never would.” He said he thought the payments were “fair” for the discussions he had with Brady.

Goldstone’s current and former interests as a director include companies providing insurance software advertised as being perfect for off-shoring, it can be revealed. Brady said he had given no advice on the PPI business Brunel Franklin, which was owned by Goldstone’s Flairford Securities Ltd, and sold in 2019.

“Declaring an interest related to an entirely opaque company is barely different to not declaring an interest at all,” Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said.

“The public still have no idea whether there might be conflicts of interest, and there is still no transparency about what this company does and how it relates to Mr Brady and his duties to his constituents.

“There are clearly questions to answer about whether this satisfies the rules that apply to all MPs.”

Brady said Goldstone was “a close personal friend” whom he was paid to advise.

“He has retained me to give occasional advice on marketing and communications to Snowshill Holdings for the last few years, initially in relation to Aquarium Software, a business in which Snowshill Holdings no longer has an interest,” he said.

“I have always been scrupulous in declaring any interests and following the letter and the spirit of the rules in the code of conduct.”

Brady said the company did have a “historic interest” in Brunel Franklin but said he did not have contact with the firm, or advise or act on behalf of the company.

Brady also provided advice to Goldstone’s Aquarium Software, which Goldstone resigned from in 2020, which provides insurance claims management solutions. Its sales and marketing director has spoken of the system being the “perfect solution for off-shoring or near-shoring activities” – jobs that can be done from outside the UK.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close