'MPs For Hire' Stunt Looks Even Worse When You Compare It To Doctors' Salaries

So MPs asked for thousands for their second jobs, but junior doctors start on just £14 an hour?
Some Tory MPs asked for thousands for a second job, while doctors are just asking for pay restoration
Some Tory MPs asked for thousands for a second job, while doctors are just asking for pay restoration

A handful of MPs were humiliated over the weekend when they fell for a fake company offering them second jobs and asked to be paid huge sums of money – and that’s all before you realise how much junior NHS doctors are being paid right now.

Campaign group Led By Donkeys, known for their viral stunts, set up a fake organisation in South Korea and filmed its interviews with the five MPs who fell for the sting.

Although all MPs targeted by the stunt are said to have complied with parliamentary rules and mentioned their obligations to their constituents during calls, the amount these former ministers charge for their time has stunned the public.

Matt Hancock, the former health secretary who resigned after breaching his own Covid lockdown rules, said in the video that his hourly rate works out to "£1,500″.

Meanwhile, ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, who famously introduced the disastrous mini-budget last year, said his fee was £10,000 a day – assuming that’s in Sterling, it would work out to £1,250 an hour for an-eight hour day.

Sir Graham Brady, who is the outgoing chair of the highly influential 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, charged £6,000 a day or £60,000 a year.

This embarrassing stunt – which policing minister Chris Philp dubbed “unedifying” for his Tory colleagues on Monday – is made all the more uncomfortable when you recall all MPs are paid £84,144.

Any additional ministerial salaries come on top of that.

Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis and double-digit inflation translates to a real terms pay cut for plenty of other sectors, which is one of the reasons there have been so many strikes over the last year.

Junior doctors went on strike for three days in March and are set to strike again in England for four days come April over their own low pay rates.

The stark disparity was highlighted in this viral tweet.

As co-chair of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, Dr Robert Laurenson, told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Doctors have lost 26.1% over the last 15 years in real terms.

“And what we’re asking for is for that to be restored, so we’re asking for it to go back to a cost-neutral point of view from 2008.

“And what that looks like is about a £5 to £10 an hour increase. At the moment, doctors start on £14 an hour.

″We’re just asking for that to be restored to £19 an hour.”

Ridge pointed out that some might think that is too much of a big ask, especially with other sectors like nursing reaching settlements over pay.

But Laurenson accused the health secretary Stephen Barclay of “penny-pinching” during this NHS crisis.

He said: “I think if you were to ask the ordinary person on the street: ’Would you be happy to pay a doctor, 7pm on a Friday night, £19 an hour?’, I think you’d get a resounding: ‘Yes, that’s reasonable.’”


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