Matt Hancock and Kwasi Kwarteng Among Tory MPs Caught in Sting Operation
Former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have been caught up in a sting operation by campaign group Led by Donkeys, which saw them being asked to work for a fake company in exchange for consultancy fees of £10,000 per day.
The group, which is anti-Brexit, created a bogus firm called Hanseong Consulting and approached 20 MPs, across various political parties, to join the company’s international advisory board.
During the “interview”, conducted via webcam, Hancock was asked about his daily consultancy rate and responded that it was “10,000 sterling”. Kwarteng asked for no less than $10,000 a month.
No actual wrongdoing was alleged against either MP as there are no rules that prevent MPs from seeking employment outside of Parliament. Hancock’s spokesman later criticised the “illegal publication of a private conversation”.
Led by Donkeys has previously targeted politicians and campaigned for a second Brexit referendum. MPs are permitted to have second jobs on top of their role representing constituents.
The role of second jobs has come under scrutiny recently, following the suspension of former Tory cabinet minister Owen Paterson for breaching lobbying rules last year. He later resigned from Parliament after a standards body issued a punishment, which was initially overturned by Boris Johnson’s government.