The explosion in new TV channels hasn't been good news for all broadcasters but it's certainly benefited one group of people: media-loving MPs. The register of MPs' interests has today been published and the contrast in hourly pay between different right honourable members makes for fascinating reading.
David Lammy, for instance, has made more than £100,000 from LBC since returning to the Labour frontbench – despite his leader's tough talk on second jobs. Yet Lammy's most recent entry lists him as receiving £8,172 for just shy of 50 hours of work, which works out as £165 per hour. By contrast, Tory backbencher Philip Davies received £3,000 for 30 hours of presenting six episodes of his GB News show; the equivalent of £100 per hour.
Rising star Bim Afolami has meanwhile snapped up a gig on TalkTV, though he is yet to declare any earnings, with Jon Ashworth getting a tidy £250 from ITV for less than 30 minutes of his time. Yet it's his frontbench colleague Jess Phillips who is apparently the real box office gold. For the Birmingham MP has declared receiving a whopping £5,000 last month for five hours presenting an episode of Have I Got News For You. A thousand pounds an hour; not bad if you can get it.
Still, Phillips doesn't charge everyone that much. She billed the New Statesman £400 for an hour of her time to write an article while Audio Always stumped up £2,652 to record 15 hour-long episodes of a weekly podcast. That means they got her for a mere snip at £176: perhaps the BBC and Hat Trick Productions, which makes HIGNFY, should ask for their money back? Still, it's a lot less than she earned the last time she fronted the show: £15,000 in December for just three hours. Clearly the cost of living crisis is affecting us all...
Elsewhere Andy Carter and Mark Logan were the beneficiaries of Channel 4's efforts to ward off privatisation, with free tickets to BAFTA events, while Lib Dem Layla Moran and her staff received BBC tickets to Radio 1's Big Weekend, Strictly Come Dancing Live and the FA Cup final. Other MPs appear to benefit from a recent book boom, with Damian Collins declaring he will shortly pen a work on David Lloyd George. A priapic premier who survived a pandemic: where did he get that idea? Self-declared 'Spartan' Mark Francois has received more than £13,000 from Amazon for Kindle copies of his book on Brexit while Ed Miliband got a nice £38,000 for the paperbook publication of his tome.
For some ex-ministers though, the spring has proved fruitful in other ways. Former veterans minister Johnny Mercer now gets a tidy £52,000 a year for eight hours' weekly advice to WithYouWithMe, a veteran employment organisation; the equivalent of a mere £125 an hour. Matt Hancock meanwhile has an unpaid gig as director of the Centre for Neurodiversity, a 'not-for-profit company which aims to further the cause of identifying and supporting those with neurodiverse conditions.'
Their erstwhile colleagues just hope to keep their current jobs. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab reported receiving £9,000 this month in his race to keep his marginal seat, including a handy £3,000 from Dr Wafik Moustafa who was once involved in a minor storm over Baroness Warsi. And Michael Gove also received £9,000 from the intriguingly named 'Strangers Gallery Dining Club'; let's hope his Surrey safe seat isn't seriously threatened by the Tories' recent woes...