Bush’s lawyer sorry over failure to declare earnings

| 05/02/2016 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Geoffrey Cox QC

(CNS): The conservative backbench MP and barrister, Geoffrey Cox QC, has apologised to the UK parliament and referred himself to its Standards Committee after failing to report money he earned for hundreds of hours of legal work. The extra earnings over and above his salary as the representative for Torridge and West Devon was for work at the Old Bailey in London last year but included £5,000 (around CI$6,000) for work here in Cayman for Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush.

Cox represented Bush in the 2014 corruption trial relating to the use of his government credit card in casinos during the time he was premier in the previous UDP administration. Bush was acquitted of all charges.

According to reports in the UK press, the register of members’ financial interests for the UK Parliament shows that Cox received £325,000 on 15 and 16 June for 500 hours of work carried out for one client between June 2014 and March 2015. That is the equivalent of £650 an hour.

Cox, who actually sat on the Standards Committee but has now stepped down, said he had always intended to declare the income but recognised he had breached rules.

“I have referred myself to the parliamentary commissioner for standards following the late registration of payments received for my continued practice at the Bar,” he said. “While there was no intention not to declare these sums, I recognise that the failure to do so in a timely manner is a clear breach of the required 28-day notification period. I wish to apologise unreservedly to my constituents and to the house for this error and for my failure to give these matters their due priority.”

The most recently updated Commons register of financial interests for Cox shows that he earned £860,237.50 between September 2013 and October 2015 for legal services. This was for 1,310 hours, the equivalent of 32 weeks work, which included money he earned working on Bush’s case.

Under Commons rules, external income needs to be registered within 28 days, but the sum was not declared to the authorities until 30 September. It is understood that Cox’s apology is the only consequence of his failure to declare his substantial extra earnings and he will not receive any other sanction.

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Category: UK, World News

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Did Cox say “my heart is pure and my hands are clean”?

  2. Anonymous says:

    To CNS who are telling me I am “posting comments too quickly, slow down”. No, I frigging am not and am really pissed off with this comment that I keep getting.

    CNS: This is a computer generated response from WordPress (the platform the site is built on), not from CNS. A few people have complained about this but I haven’t really found a solution. Does anyone have any ides?

    • Anonymous says:

      I suggest he slows down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thought it was just me, feel better now. Tried pushing the button slowly, didn’t work. It is irritating!!

    • Fast Eddie says:

      @CNS

      Not much you can do with the “posting too quickly” message. When I did get that message (only happened twice since you launched your new platform) – it was when I posted via my mobile phone. I’ve submitted 15+ comments since.

      If one pushes the Post Comment button twice/or more, -before submission after the first push-, you may get the message about posting too quickly.

      Seems like the ‘ignore’ command is slow to pickup or how some mobile browsers work, quirky if anything.

      YMMV.

      CNS: Thanks for this. I’ll store this response somewhere in case anyone else has the same complaint.

  3. Just Watchin says:

    If only Mc had found it in his tiny little soul to tell us, the Caymanian people, that he was sorry for what he had done, that he now realised he shouldn’t have “borrowed” our money to put in slot machines. But no; he has never done anything wrong in his life and ‘sorry’ couldn’t come out his mouth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    can’t he say it was a real estate bill?

  5. Sharkey says:

    Was this the man that helped Bush win his case , so he thought that he could beat the British tax system , I say bring him back and let him face the Watson’s Judge and Jury .

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupid statement because from what I read he declared it. It is just that he missed the deadline for reporting it. That seems to me like a genuine error on his part. Have you ever forgotten to pay on bill on time? I have and has done the very same thing Mr. Cox did, which was to apologize to those concerned. Perhaps you are a saint who never made a mistake in this regard.

    • JD Mill says:

      What are you talking about? It has nothing to with tax. It’s a rule that requires MPs to register their earnings for transparency.

  6. Anonymous says:

    $650.00 an hour? Hell bush was losing more than that at the casinos.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey Bush, did you pay the poor guy on time?

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