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UK News

Sir Geoffrey Cox ‘does not believe he breached rules’ amid sleaze claims


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A senior Conservative MP under scrutiny over his extra earnings for legal work has defended himself – and declared it is up to his constituents to vote him out if they are unhappy about it.

Sir Geoffrey Cox’s entry in the register of members’ interests shows he earned more than £800,000 for law firm Withers, which is representing the British Virgin Islands government in a corruption case brought by the UK government.

A statement from his office said that he has always been clear with constituents about his work outside parliament and that “Sir Geoffrey regularly works 70-hour weeks and always ensures that his casework on behalf of his constituents is given primary importance and fully carried out.”

It has been revealed that he voted by proxy in the House of Commons while earning hundreds of thousands of pounds for the legal work more than 4,000 miles away in the Caribbean.

Sir Geoffrey is also facing claims that he used his parliamentary office to undertake some of his work for Withers.

Footage has emerged which appears to show Sir Geoffrey using his Commons office for such work, with him saying on a Zoom session of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry: “Forgive me for not being present this afternoon, I’m afraid I have compelling other commitments.”

The MPs code of conduct states any facilities “provided from the public purse” are used “always in support of their parliamentary duties”, adding: “It should not confer any undue financial benefit on themselves”.

More on Sir Geoffrey Cox

The statement posted on his website said “he does not believe that he breached the rules” regarding use of his office and claimed he consulted the Conservative chief whip about voting by proxy while in the Caribbean and “was advised that it was appropriate”.

He describes himself as a “leading barrister in England” who “makes no secret of his professional activities”.

It continued: “Sir Geoffrey’s view is that it is up to the electors of Torridge and West Devon whether or not they vote for someone who is a senior and distinguished professional in his field and who still practises that profession.

“That has been the consistent view of the local Conservative Association and although at every election his political opponents have sought to make a prominent issue of his professional practice, it has so far been the consistent view of the voters of Torridge and West Devon.

“Sir Geoffrey is very content to abide by their decision”.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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