David Davis focuses on his outside earnings, Telegraph accused of being ‘Stalinist’ and Madeleina Kay is the latest to complain about the BBC’s Brexit bias
David Davis has proved yet again that no-one ever got poor being a cheerleader for Brexit. The former DExEU minister has just come clean about how much money he’s now making on the lecture circuit.
He trousered more than £16,000 for five hours’ work – ‘including preparations, travel and attendance’ – for delivering a speech in London for the investment managers Brewin Dolphin just before Christmas. The money for this gig is on top of two other recent speaking engagements at £16,000 a time – one for the accountancy firm PWC Ireland, the other for FTI Consulting.
They top up the £3,000 an hour Davis, is currently receiving from JCB for his 20-hour-a-year role as an ‘external adviser’ and the £36,085 six months contract – with ‘management incentive plan’ top-ups – he has with the German manufacturer Mansfelder Kupfer. This means he has already made £150,000 since he quit government in July, without even taking into account the £77,379 pocket money he receives as a backbench MP.
Still, Davis must resent the fact his speeches are considered to be so much less valuable than those of his old rival Boris Johnson. The former foreign secretary seldom bothers to get up off his hind quarters to speak for less than £28,900.
Madeleina Kay, the 24-year-old EU ‘supergirl’, is the latest to tell Mandrake about her experiences of bias at the hands of the BBC.
‘My last two BBC appearances were cancelled,’ she says. ‘The first was for the Politics Live show when I had been asked to appear on the day of the vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The editor had seemed keen, but then all went quiet, and, when I followed up, she said they no longer needed me. The second was a BBC Spotlight local news item in Cornwall, when I was doing an event at Falmouth University last month. They cancelled the day before.’
Madeleina, says she has also noted ‘odd behaviour’ from the BBC when it comes to mentioning allegations of wrong-doing against the Leave campaign. ‘On the Sunday Politics show on BBC Yorkshire TV not so long ago, the part of the interview where I brought up the illegal overspending was cut out,’ she says.
‘Likewise a photo of me carrying a ‘Vote Leave broke the law’ placard was published on the BBC news site after the last People’s Vote march, but was later removed.’
With his heart set on spending more time in Gascony after applying for his French residency card, Lord Lawson, former chairman of the Vote Leave campaign, has quietly bowed out as the public face of the climate science-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation.
Lawson will be succeeded as chairman of the GWPF by the Labour peer Lord Bernard Donoughue, who has every reason to be passionate about the issue. He has declared interests in four investment funds that list BP and Shell in their top five holdings, while another fund has shares in ExxonMobil. A further fund invests in oil and gas infrastructure in the US and Canada, including the Kinder Morgan and Keystone XL pipelines. The pipelines carry oil from the Alberta tar sands and have faced strong resistance from local communities in recent years.
Climate change scepticism is part of the Brexit membership pack since the issue can only be addressed internationally and not up to the White Cliffs of Dover.
Dr Richard North, the Sunday Telegraph journalist Christopher Booker’s long-time collaborator, is aghast at the ‘Stalinist’ approach the newspaper takes to sub-editing.
He saw an early version of Booker’s column over the weekend in which he was name-checked as an ‘expert friend’. Booker made, too, a disparaging reference to Vote Leave’s director Dominic Cummings. Both references were summarily deleted.
North has been critical of the Telegraph in his blog, but is still sad he is not ‘allowed’ to appear in Booker’s column. He adds the pro-Brexit paper clearly regards Cummings as a ‘favoured child’ and for that reason the disparaging reference to him had to be erased. ‘There is something Soviet about this behaviour, redolent Lenin’s speech in Moscow,’ he says. ‘In the foreground were Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev but, in later copies of this photograph, both had disappeared.’