Sir John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.

Sir John Hayes MP defends lucrative new roles at oil company and Saudi school

Newly knighted South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes has defended taking on three new jobs since May – one of which he estimated would pay him around £500 per hour.

The jobs, listed on the House of Commons’ Register of Members Financial Interest, include advising an oil company and being president of a company that runs a school for women in Saudi Arabia.

Sir John told The Voice that his work in these roles has amounted to around a day and a half’s work a month, way below the estimates of hours he’d given when adding them to the register.

The register states that from September 1 until further notice, Sir John has been acting as a strategic adviser to oil wholesalers BB Energy Trading for which he “expects to receive £50,000 a year in return for an estimated commitment of between 90 and 120 hours”.

It works out at between £417 and £555 per hour.

From May 29 he’s been the president of the Highbury Burton Saudi Arabia (HBSA) which runs the International Technical Female College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The venture between Highbury and Burton and South Derbyshire Colleges to deliver English language learning is described as a result of the Saudi Arabian government’s College of Excellence Programme by The Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) which looks at whether former ministers should take up paid position.

The Register of Financial Interests states he expects to receive £20,000 a year for between 65 and 80 hours from the HBSA role.

The body’s report recommending Sir John take the position on certain conditions, addressing the MP, states: “You said your role will be to undertake an ambassadorial role for HSBA, as the figurehead of the company when engaging with stakeholders such as employers and colleges of excellence and the Saudi Arabian authorities” and “to advise the board on international relations and likely future direction of public policy.”

Sir John said that this week he’d notified the register that a role as advisor to the Chartered Institution for Further Education had ended in November. That role commenced on July 1 and at the time Sir John added it to the register he estimated it would earn him £15,000 for between 100 and 120 hours.

ACoBA advised Sir John could take up all the positions on certain conditions ruling enough time had elapsed following previous governmental positions including as the Minister for Energy at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning.

The income from the positions are on top of the £77,379 basic MP’s wage.

Sir John told The Voice he’d taken on the roles after resigning from government in January, a position he’d been paid for, and his actual commitments to the paid roles have been much less than the hours than he estimated they would take when adding them to the Register of Interests.

He said: “I can say I’m finding the roles are taking up around a day and a half a month which is coming out of my own time and is not in place of my constituency nor parliamentary time.

“In a month I will take a day with my family and 27 days of constituency and parliamentary work. I don’t think most people would find that unreasonable.

“I am one of the most active members of parliament and took part in 75 debates last year. Most people know I’m an extremely active MP.”

Sir John said that his role as advisor to BB Energy Trading was to “advise on geo-political trends”.
On the work with HBSA he said: “It’s about supporting women in further education who have never had these education options before. It provides them with skills and links to employers.

“It’s not just about teaching it’s about getting them into work.

“We’re hoping to extend that to other places. It’s very good work.

“It’s a compliment people want to seek my advice and I will only ever take on roles that are right and achievable.”

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