Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly ‘is paid nearly £1,000 an hour by firm that benefits from NHS Covid contracts’

  • Jonathan Djanogly MP being paid £30,000 for 32 hours’ work a year by firm that has benefited from NHS Covid contracts
  • Receives the payments to act as chairman of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust
  • It has a stake in Thriva which picked up Government contracts worth £186million

A Tory MP is being paid £30,000 for just 32 hours’ work a year by a firm that has benefited from NHS Covid contracts, the Daily Mail can reveal today.

Jonathan Djanogly receives the payments of nearly £1,000 an hour to act as chairman of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust.

It has a stake in Thriva which picked up Government contracts worth £186million, according to data analysts Tunstall.

Thriva’s published accounts show it was worth just £922,000 at the end of 2019, but according to the Pembroke website, this had soared to around £30million this summer.

Thriva’s first £61million Covid testing contract was awarded without competition in August 2020, three months after its directors met former health minister Lord Bethell.

Jonathan Djanogly (pictured) receives the payments of nearly £1,000 an hour to act as chairman of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust

He was sacked two months ago amid controversy over his use of his private email address for official business.

Mr Djanogly, who served as a minister under David Cameron, repaid £25,000 during the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009.

He defended his lucrative second job and insisted he had not made any personal approaches to ministers on behalf of Thriva.

‘My remuneration is standard for a non-executive chair of a venture capital trust,’ he said.

‘I intend to remain in my post at Pembroke. Outside interests are beneficial to MPs’ experience.’

He is one of at least five Conservative MPs who are paid salaries by companies with an interest in healthcare related to the pandemic.

Steve Brine, who gets three extra salaries on top of his MP’s pay, receives £20,000 for up to eight hours work a month for Sigma Pharmaceuticals. In this capacity he joined a webinar hosted by former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

The firm has won contracts worth a total of £140,000 to supply Covid tests and other items to pharmacies. He also receives £38,400 annually for one day’s work a month for each of two further firms which are also in healthcare.

They are Remedium, which has been paid £1.4million since 2016 to recruit NHS personnel, and Microlink PC, which supplies the NHS with technology to help the disabled.

Mr Brine did not respond to a request for comment last night.

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) gets £25,000 a year for 12 hours’ work a month for Byotrol, which supplies the NHS with more than 92 per cent of its non-alcoholic hand sanitiser

Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns is paid £15,000 a year for ‘up to’ 70 hours’ work for BBI, which was part of the consortium led by Abingdon Health to develop and supply Covid antibody tests.

The contracts, which were brokered by Lord Bethell under the ‘VIP’ fast track route, were cancelled after at least £19million had been paid because the tests were not accurate enough.

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith gets £25,000 a year for 12 hours’ work a month for Byotrol, which supplies the NHS with more than 92 per cent of its non-alcoholic hand sanitiser.

It has seen its profits increase 600 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

Sir Iain chaired a Government task force that recommended wider use of non-alcoholic sanitiser, but has denied any conflict of interest.

Last night Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner (pictured) said: ‘You can be an MP representing your constituents or you can be an MP representing the companies that pay you – you cannot be both’

The MP also receives £20,000 a year as an adviser to Tunstall Health Group for up to 30 hours of work annually.

George Freeman, now in his second spell as a junior minister, received £5,000 last year from Aerosol Shield Ltd when it was trying to sell PPE to the Health Service.

He was criticised for failing to seek advice before doing so – a breach of the rules governing former ministers. He later apologised, saying he had misunderstood the ministerial code.

Last night Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘You can be an MP representing your constituents or you can be an MP representing the companies that pay you – you cannot be both.’

Jolyon Maugham QC, of the Good Law Project, which is challenging dozens of PPE and Covid testing contracts in the High Court, said: ‘£1,000-an-hour second jobs – it’s like the winning card in bingo.’

Mr Djanogly has held the former Huntingdon seat of Sir John Major since 2001.

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