Tory ex-care minister signs up for job at Conservative donor’s care homes firm

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Former minister Caroline Dinenage wants a role with a private care home developer, just months after the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal

Former health minister Caroline Dinenage

A former Tory minister has signed up for a second job after Boris Johnson dropped his pledges of a major crackdown MPs’ outside earnings.

Caroline Dinenage wants to be a non-executive director at LNT Group – a private care home developer owned by Tory donor Lawrence Tomlinson – just months after the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal left the Government mired in allegations of sleaze.

The MP has been given approval for the new part-time role by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) which monitors parliamentarians’ second jobs.

Most MPs have been given up second jobs after former minister Mr Paterson was forced to resign after the Commons standards’ committee found him guilty of several “egregious” breaches of lobbying rules.

Following the row, the Conservatives lost the North Shropshire by-election to the Lib Dems and Mr Johnson vowed he would tighten rules around MPs taking consultancy jobs.

But it has since emerged, that Downing Street had quietly dropped its commitment to capping hours and earnings.

In her response to Ms Dinenage, Acoba pointed out the MP had visited an LNT site while she was a minister but her former department had no concerns about her taking up her new job.

It said she must not lobby the government on behalf of LNT, draw on privileged information, advise on government contracts or use contacts from her time in office.

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Angela Rayner, Labor’s deputy leader, said: “Just as Boris Johnson breaks his promise to crack down on Tory MPs’ outside work, it emerges one of his former health ministers has a second job with a care home firm.

“This is a prime minister who has repeatedly allowed his own MPs to put their own private business interests ahead of their constituents and it must be stopped. Labor will set up a commission for integrity and ethics to make sure the British people’s interests always come first.”

The Mirror has contacted Ms Dinenage for comment.

Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Anne-Marie Trevelyan were among those who backed a time limit on second jobs last autumn, saying it could be limited to 10 to 15 hours a week.

This followed widespread outcry over former Attorney General Sir Geoffrey Cox earning about £1m over the past year for his legal work on top of his role as MP.

But, despite promising reform, ministers wrote to the Commons standards committee to say capping earnings would be “impractical”.

It comes as the cost of living crisis and the Ukraine-Russia war dominate the headlines.

A number of Tory MPs have cut their second jobs voluntarily, however, in response to the public pressure.

Former Cabinet minister Julian Smith quit all of his private sector advisory roles, which had been earning him £144,000 a year, and former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith resigned from his advisory board role at Tunstall Healthcare, which had been earning him £20,000 a year.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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