Speaker’s ex-UK lawyer in hot water over work for OTs

| 11/11/2021 | 16 Comments
Sir Geoffrey Cox in a video clip that appears to show him using his MP’s office to carry out private work for the BVI inquiry

(CNS): Sir Geoffrey Cox QC, a member of the British Parliament, is coming in for some serious criticism in the UK over legal work he has been doing in the overseas territories. Cox, the MP for Torridge and West Devon and a former attorney general for England and Wales, successfully represented Speaker McKeeva Bush in 2014 against corruption charges, but he has also done other work for legal firms in the Cayman Islands that is now being called into question.

The Tory MP is also facing criticism for work he has been doing in the British Virgin islands, advising the government there on a corruption inquiry after it was accused of misusing public cash.

Following another sleaze scandal dogging the ruling Tory party over an MP who used his position to benefit companies who were paying him as a consultant, members’ second jobs are under particular scrutiny. MPs are allowed to do jobs outside their parliamentary duties, but they must adhere to the Code of Conduct. This includes: “Members shall ensure that their use of public resources is always in support of their parliamentary duties.”

Cox is coming under pressure over whether he used his parliamentary and constituency offices to further his lucrative legal work overseas and how much that is distracting him from his role as the representative for his Devon constituents as he was voting in House debates by proxy.

The Conservative back-bencher has defended his legal work outside Parliament and denied breaching the rules. In a statement on his own website, he said he had taken advice from the attorney general on his work with the BVI, which will earn him over £800,000 and he had the approval of the Conservative Party’s chief whip on voting by proxy while he was in the Caribbean.

Cox earned around $35,000 representing Bush during that 2014 trial , in which Bush was acquitted. While he was premier, Bush had been accused of misusing a government credit card to gamble in casinos while on government trips. But the court heard that Bush had written blank cheques and given them to his secretary to ensure the money was paid off and that there was no policy at the time to prevent him from using his government credit card to draw cash out to gamble while overseas.

Since then, in 2018 in particular. Cox is believed to have earned around $57,000 dollars working for law firms here in Cayman involved in the financial services sector. During the same year he had lobbied against the sanctions and anti-money laundering bill debated in the UK parliament which imposed stricter regulations on overseas territories and paved the way for the beneficial ownership register.

Cox had mentioned his work in Cayman during the debate, when he told the speaker of the British parliament that he should have made it clear “that I have on occasions practiced in some of the Caribbean countries that formed the basis of our discussion in my capacity as a member of the Bar”.

Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the opposition Labour party, referred Cox to the standards commissioner on Tuesday night. She said it appeared that he was “trying to prevent a crackdown on tax avoidance”, which would be a “glaring conflict of interest and an insult to British taxpayers. You can be an MP serving your constituents or a barrister working for a tax haven – you can’t be both, and Boris Johnson needs to make his mind up as to which one Cox will be.”

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Category: Politics, UK, World News

Comments (16)

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  1. Allan Creasey says:

    I’ve known Geoff for..well, actually I don’t know Geoff but by his appearance in the photo, he appears to be a reputable guy. Trying to make ends meet by holding down as many jobs as he can. I’m sure many of his unemployed constituents would agree that is if they knew.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great point. The voters decide, and he will still be their mp after the 2024 general election

    • Anonymous says:

      well if you don’t know him Allan, – that should be ‘Sir Geoffrey’ really, kind of like, Honorable Mckeeva Bush

  2. Anonymous says:

    Enquirings minds want to know if he will ever come this way again- even for a short stay-over

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mac can’t stay out of spotlight, ironically, because of his lawyer. Mac can’t get a break. Oh, boy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Sir Geoffrey is an absentee MP to his constituents and his client McKeeva Bush is an absentee MP to his own, as well!!

    Greed Trumps civic duty!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If his voters are satisfied, end of story. All the whining is purely political.

  6. anon says:

    I bet Bush didn’t give him a blank cheque.

  7. Anon says:

    Per the daily mail her actually earned $110,000 representing Bush “ Sir Geoffrey Cox earned up to £110,000 defending the controversial former premier of the Cayman Islands in a high profile corruption trial”


    It has now emerged Sir Geoffrey, 61, was paid £355 an hour for eight weeks’ work for the Cayman Islands law firm that represented then opposition leader McKeeva Bush.

    In the periods he was paid by Travers, Thorp, Alberga, he made one speech of just 46 words in the Commons, bolstering critics’ claims that he is an absentee MP.”

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