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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Christopher McKeon and Anthony France

‘Hypocrite’ Tory who hit out at MPs needing extra salary gets £100,000 for GB News job

Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson has revealed he will be paid £100,000 a year for hosting a show on GB News - less than 18 months after he blasted MPs who need ‘an extra £100,000 a year’ on top of their parliamentary salary.

Anderson’s annual fee, declared in an update to the MPs’ register of interests published on Wednesday, immediately led to charges of “hypocrisy”.

His pay for a minimum eight hours per week is a significant increase on the £200 weekly payment he received for appearing as a regular on Dan Wootton’s show.

The outspoken MP for Ashfield, in Nottinghamshire, became the fifth Tory MP to host a GB News show when his deal with the channel was announced on March 7.

GB News is the true voice of the great British silent majority

Lee Anderson

Anderson’s lucrative TV gig follows his previous criticism of MPs who have significant earnings from outside Parliament.

In the wake of the Owen Paterson lobbying row in November 2021, the politician said that MPs were “paid handsomely for the job we do”.

He added in a Facebook post at the time: “If you need an extra £100,000 a year on top then you should really be looking for another job.”

The former Labour councillor, who worked as a coal miner for 10 years after leaving school, has previously been dubbed “30p Lee”.

It came after he claimed there’s not a ‘massive use’ for food banks in Britain and offered ‘proof’ that meals can be cooked for 30p each.

Anderson also criticised Labour’s Jess Phillips after she made a one-off appearance on Have I Got News For You.

He said: “I am sure Jess will donate this huge sum of money to a good cause in her constituency during these difficult times.”

Anderson joins fellow Conservatives Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey and Philip Davies, who all currently host shows. Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison previously hosted a show but left when she was made a levelling up minister.

But Anderson’s £100,000 fee makes him the highest earning of that group so far, receiving almost double the £58,650 which McVey received in 2022. Her husband and co-host, Davies, received £46,203 in the same year.

Rees-Mogg is yet to disclose how much he is being paid by the channel.

Announcing his decision to join GB News, Anderson previously said: “GB News is the true voice of the great British silent majority. I’m joining the people’s channel to ensure their voice is heard.”

The MP has proved controversial since his election in 2019, calling for the return of the death penalty and claiming people on Universal Credit were not in poverty.

Wednesday’s update to the MPs’ register of interests also included another £527,000 in speaking fees for Boris Johnson from the first two weeks of March.

The former prime minister received £261,596 from London-based consultants Brand Finance PLC and £266,031 from American law firm Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check.

Some £369,605 of that total has been deducted from a £2.5 million advance the former prime minister received from speaking agency Harry Walker Agency in January.

Johnson also declared an advance of £42,500 from Hodder and Stoughton for a book, reported to be his memoirs of his time in Downing Street.

Several other MPs declared new second jobs, including former cabinet minister Sajid Javid, who will be paid £300,000 a year for advising Jersey-based investment firm Centricus Partners for between eight and 10 hours a month.

Another former minister, Sir Gavin Williamson, will receive £50,000 a year as an advisor to education provider RTC Education and former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland will be paid £48,000 a year as senior counsel to solicitors Payne Hicks Beach.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has received an advance of £8,200 from Hodder and Stoughton for her book on “The Women Who Made Modern Economics”.

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