Northern Ireland news

DUP's David Simpson earned £29,000 for work outside the Commons

David Simpson will not be standing in Upper Bann

DUP MP David Simpson earned £29,000 for work outside the Commons during the last parliamentary term, newly-collated figures show.

The veteran politician, who is not contesting this month's general election following an affair with a party colleague, racked up an extra 348 hours outside of his parliamentary work.

According to figures collated by data website datalobo, Mr Simpson's earnings outside his parliamentary salary far out-stripped those of any other Northern Ireland MP.

DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson earned £5,541 for advice services, while his party colleague East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson earned £2,020 - around half of that figure from speeches.

All MPs must declare their outside earnings.

However, most MPs from Northern Ireland did not earn any extra money, according to the statistics.

The figures show that 15 MPs accounted for more than 50 per cent of the total £8.4 million extra earnings.

The data website found that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was by far the highest-earner - racking up nearly £800,000 during the last parliamentary term between June 8 2017 and October 31 2019.

Mr Johnson's earnings outside parliament, which included a column he wrote for the Daily Telegraph before he became prime minister, were equivalent to an additional £27,440 a month.

The second-placed earner was Tory MP Nicholas Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, who gained £606,419 during the last parliamentary term.

Former Secretary of State Owen Paterson was the third-placed earner, with an additional income of £365,870.

The figures collated by datalobo do not include income from rental properties or financial assets.

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