ANNA MIKHAILOVA: What Tory MP paid by 'right decisions' firm forgot…

ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Tory MP paid by ‘right decisions’ firm transferred shares to his wife (but forgot to declare that he remains a director of the company)

The ‘butterfly effect’ of a single Government decision to form a protective ring around Owen Paterson has led to painful defeats in the polls and in the Commons for Boris Johnson, with leadership contenders now sharpening their knives.

The convulsions have caused some fellow Tories to rethink their outside interests. Ruth Edwards has just quietly given up her advisory job. 

The MP for Rushcliffe was being paid £5,000 a month, via the company she co-owns with her husband, by HR firm MHR International. 

Similarly, Sir Greg Knight has given up his £16,000 annual pay cheque from Cambridge and Counties Bank. 

Newbie Dean Russell (above) is a former PR man elected in 2019 to serve the people of Watford. On his register of interests, Russell lists regular pay cheques from ‘EPIFNY Consulting Ltd’, described as a ‘business education provider’. After becoming an MP, Russell transferred his shares to his wife, who owns the firm outright. But he doesn’t declare he remains a director of the company, in what appears to be a breach of the MPs’ Code of Conduct

Meanwhile, former Health Minister Steve Brine is no longer a ‘strategic adviser’ to a pharmaceuticals firm.

But not everyone got the memo. Take newbie Dean Russell, the former PR man elected in 2019 to serve the people of Watford. 

On his register of interests, Russell lists regular pay cheques from ‘EPIFNY Consulting Ltd’, described as a ‘business education provider’.

After becoming an MP, Russell transferred his shares to his wife, who owns the firm outright. 

Ruth Edwards has just quietly given up her advisory job. The MP for Rushcliffe was being paid £5,000 a month, via the company she co-owns with her husband, by HR firm MHR International

Meanwhile, former Health Minister Steve Brine is no longer a ‘strategic adviser’ to a pharmaceuticals firm

But he doesn’t declare he remains a director of the company, in what appears to be a breach of the MPs’ Code of Conduct. 

Russell founded EPIFNY in 2016. It promises to teach ‘inspired leadership’ and asks would-be clients: ‘Do you want to have people admire you and feel confident you are making the right decisions?’ The company has carried out work for the NHS.

Russell, who sits on the health select committee, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on digital health and has spoken in the Commons on NHS efficiency, last night refused to say who EPIFNY’s current clients are. 

The MP said the directorship was ‘unremunerated’ and all payments were properly declared.

Perhaps it’s time the people of Watford had their own epiphany.

Nimco’s ‘lonely’ Christmas

Who but the stone-hearted could not feel for the single woman writing in the Evening Standard last week about a ‘real fear’ of another lockdown of ‘weeks or even months entirely alone again’.

Only, there was a tiny omission in Nimco Ali OBE’s tear-jerking column: she wasn’t entirely alone.

As with so much of the yuletide festivities at No10 last year, we belatedly discovered that over Christmas Nimco was with her bestie, Carrie, aka, the PM’s wife, at Downing Street in a baby bubble with Boris and Wilfred.

We feel your struggle, Nimco, and only hope the cheese and wine are to your taste if the invitation comes.

Nimco Ali with Carrie Johnson, above.  As with so much of the yuletide festivities at No10 last year, we belatedly discovered that over Christmas Nimco was with her bestie, Carrie, aka, the PM’s wife, at Downing Street in a baby bubble with Boris and Wilfred

More ‘one rule for them’ revelations, this time involving Transport Minister Trudy Harrison. 

She recently told the British public that owning cars is so last century. 

The UK, said Harrison, is at a ‘tipping point’ where scooters, car clubs and bike shares will be realistic alternatives. But not for her, it seems. 

The petrolhead has claimed £5,714 mileage expenses and £1,373 for her own car since 2017 but refuses to tell me if she’s now given it up. 

Perhaps she can spare us the lecture until she is spotted scooting around her Copeland constituency in Cumbria.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison recently told the British public that owning cars is so last century – but she has claimed £5,714 mileage expenses and £1,373 for her own car since 2017 but refuses to tell me if she’s now given it up

The Tory panto season rolls on with more Christmas slapstick. 

After ‘Baron Hardup’ Johnson and Allegra ‘Widow Twankey’ Stratton, word reaches me that there is a ‘Silly Billy’ on the loose in the mother of all Parliaments.

Royston Smith, the Tory MP for Southampton Itchen, informed whips he was rebelling against vaccine passports.

And before last Tuesday’s crucial vote, he chewed up George Osborne for tweeting that asking for vaccination proof at a nightclub was ‘hardly the slippery slope to the Gestapo’. Smith shot back: ‘Asked is fine, mandated not.’

There should have been 100 Tory rebels, not 99, but Smith strolled through the ‘Aye’ Lobby – by mistake. 

‘I made it clear to the whips I wouldn’t support Covid passports and contacted my constituents to tell them the same,’ he said.

Tip: Left foot, right foot. Look up. Repeat.

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