Geoffrey Cox returned to his job as a lawyer while parliament sits | Geoffroy Cox

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Geoffrey Cox has appeared again as counsel for the British Virgin Islands (BVI) inquiry while Parliament is in session, questioning whether he is responding to the Prime Minister’s demands for MPs to pass their duty to their constituents first.

Cox, who has earned around £ 1million from legal work over the past year, joined the BVI’s commission of inquiry into corruption allegations for two hours as the House of Commons sat on Wednesday after- midday.

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, said Cox was “taking the mick” and called it a “test of leadership” for the Prime Minister. “The Prime Minister lets him get away with it,” she added.

Cox has come under scrutiny for his outside income since it emerged he had voted by proxy in the BVI Parliament during the pandemic. It later became apparent that he had skipped at least 12 votes on the days he was doing paid legal work, after the proxy voting benefits ended.

Since then, Boris Johnson has supported the idea of ​​banning MPs from working as paid parliamentary consultants or advisers and said anyone “putting outside interests” and neglecting their constituents should be investigated .

However, it is not clear exactly how many MPs and their second job this could cover. A Guardian analysis found that it would likely affect fewer than 10 people with outside interests if the limit was set at 20 hours per week, as Cabinet Minister Ann-Marie Trevelyan suggested.

Cox’s average time spent on legal work is only slightly over that amount, suggesting he might just cut his hours a bit.

Cox has been approached for comment. He has previously defended his outside interests by arguing that “it is up to the voters of Torridge and West Devon whether or not to vote for someone who is a seasoned and distinguished professional in his field and still practices this profession”.

He was asked to advise the BVI government and described his role in the hearings as “helping the public inquiry uncover the truth”.

The most recent update of the Members’ Interest Register shows Cox earned £ 54,404.49 in August for around 45 hours of legal work. His salary as an MP is £ 81,932 per year.

The Commons Standards Committee is reviewing the rules of the MPs’ code of conduct, including outside labor rules, and is expected to issue a report on the matter on Monday, according to its chairman, Chris Bryant.


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