‘Questions To Answer’ Over Moor View MP’s £1,000 A Day Second Job

Plymouth Labour says Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer has a number of questions to answer about his new £1,000 a day second job.

The Conservative MP updated his register of interests earlier this month to include his new position as an adviser to WithYouWithMe, a veteran employment organisation. 

The entry says he will work for eight hours a week – the equivalent of a working day – to “provide advice on UK Armed Forces veteran talent”.

The £1,000 a week paycheck equates to £52k per year – over double the average national wage in the UK of £25,971 – this is in addition to Mr Mercer’s £84,144 annual salary funded by the taxpayer in his capacity as an elected Member of Parliament.

Leader of Plymouth Labour, Cllr Tudor Evans OBE, says there are “legitimate” questions around the new job, the answers to which are in the public interest.

“At a time of a major cost of living crisis, rising inflation, potentially life-threatening ambulance waiting times at Derriford Hospital, the crisis in Primary Care and many other pressing issues it is staggering that Mr Mercer would consider putting his attentions elsewhere,” said Cllr Evans, who is a councillor in Ham Ward in Mr Mercer’s constituency.

“Which day of the week will he be designating to ditch his responsibilities to his constituency in favour of fulfilling the requirements of this highly-paid new job? 

“His constituents are entitled to know how it serves them for him to reduce the amount of time he is working on their behalf.

“We all remember what a mess he got into around his previous second job, you have to question the judgment of a man prepared to take us all down this path again.”

There was a great deal of controversy over Mr Mercer’s previous £85k second job for Crucial Academy, which was linked to failed firm LCF who were the subject of four arrests by the Serious Fraud Office. This was subject to national attention in The Mirror, The Daily Mail, and even saw Mr Mercer being grilled about the job by Ian Hislop on Have I Got News for You, which he was ultimately forced to give up in 2019 after questions were raised on whether the second job was in breach of the ministerial code.

This most recent second job announcement comes in the week after the Conservative Party was beaten in a by-election in the traditionally safe Tory Devon seat of Tiverton and Honiton, where the Conservatives lost a majority of over 24,000. Mr Mercer’s current majority is 12,897. 

Cllr Evans believes the Moor View MP has four key questions to answer:

  • Which day of the week should Plymothians know he is no longer available as their MP?
  • How does Mr Mercer justify the appointment to his constituents in Plymouth?
  • Which parts of his parliamentary duties will Mr Mercer give up to make time for his second job?
  • Did Mr Mercer learn anything from his previous second job controversies and the upset caused?