Will there soon by a by-election in Geoffrey Cox’s constituency?

Geoffrey Cox: he has a rich, booming voice. One wonders whether we will hear it raised in his defence… and one finds it doubtful.

If the people of North Shropshire had good reason to reject Owen Paterson for using his Parliamentary office for outside work, what about the electors of Torridge and West Devon?

Their MP – the former Attorney General, Sir Geoffrey Cox – has been found using his office for work centred not just outside Parliament, but outside the United Kingdom altogether.

It seems he has been acting as a legal advisor to an inquiry by the government of the British Virgin Islands into – ironically – alleged government corruption.

This work seems to have involved at least two journeys to those paradisical Caribbean islands, in April and June this year.

So it seems reasonable for people in Torridge and West Devon to ask whether their MP carries out any work for them at all.

Coming after the scandal over Owen Paterson’s work for Randox, it amplifies fears that Conservative MPs with second jobs are occupied far more with them than with their first duty – to represent the people of their constituencies.

Cox has been paid more than £700,000 for his BVI work – a vastly higher amount than the £82,000 he gets as an MP.

Labour has demanded an inquiry by the Parliamentary standards commissioner based, it seems, on evidence that Cox used his publicly-funded Parliamentary office to carry out some aspects of his privately-funded second job.

The situation has attracted the usual level of British humour – with its usual barb of satire:

The comment by “Luke” refers to an incident in which Boris Johnson hid in a fridge to avoid being questioned on a difficult subject by members of the press.

It represents an expectation by the general public that our excuse for a prime minister would rather run away from the evidence of wrong-doing by his Parliamentarians than deal with it.

This is bolstered by the fact that Johnson himself stands accused of corrupt practices and may face further investigation (having already been found guilty of wrong-doing) by standards commissioner Kathryn Stone in the near future.

And she is not likely to handle it with a light touch, after he tried to force her to resign last week.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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