MPs paid £150,000 in six months for journalism work - with George Galloway equalling his MP salary in four months - Press Gazette

MPs paid £150,000 in six months for journalism work - with George Galloway equalling his MP salary in four months

George Galloway earned as much money through journalism in the first four months of the year as his annual pay for being an MP.

Overall, Members of Parliament – who currently earn a base rate of £67,000 – have declared just short of £150,000 for journalism work in the first half of 2014, according to the latest register of financial interests.

Galloway, Respect MP for Bradford West, was the highest earning, registering £25,600 from Associated Press for work on the TV station Russia Today, £21,450 from LBP TV (a channel broadcast out of the offices of former Iran-backed station Press TV) and £18,000 from Arab-focused satellite channel Al-Mayadeen TV between January and April (he has yet to declare for May and June).

According to the register, Galloway also presents two weekly television programmes for Press TV on an unpaid basis. He hosts two programmes a month for Al-Mayadeen in Beirut and has his return flights and hotel accommodation paid for.

A spokesman for Galloway said: "He does believe in spreading his message as widely as he can – not just through the prism of Parliament."

Labour’s Gisela Stuart and Austin Mitchell, meanwhile, have earned £13,200 and £10,000 respectively for work on MP trade magazine House.

Diane Abbott, also Labour, has been paid £5,600 for appearances on BBC Two’s This Week. Her appearance on Channel 4’s Fifteen to One, earning her £2,000, has not been included in Press Gazette's total.

Similarly, the BBC’s payments to MPs for appearances on Have I Got News For You – £1,500 for each show – are not included in Press Gazette's tally of journalistic earnings.

Not including Galloway's broadcasting earnings, the BBC is the single biggest payer of MPs for journalism work according to the register, a total of £20,677 in the first six months of this year..

Fleet Street, meanwhile, has shelled out just over £27,000 to MPs over the first half of the year, with the Mail and Telegraph titles the highest payers. The list below does not include London mayor Boris Johnson, a former journalist, who is said to earn around £250,000 annually from the Telegraph for his weekly column.

The table below shows payments MPs have declared for journalism work between January and June 2014. Some of the money may have been donated to charity or political parties. Payments made in 2014 that specifically state they are for work in 2013 have not been included. Payments made in 2014 without a specified work date attached to them have been assumed to be for work in 2014.



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