The Chatterer will be keeping a keen eye on the MPs’ register of interests after Jacob Rees-Mogg starts his new job as a presenter on GB News, a channel that he describes as a “bastion of free speech”.
The former business secretary is to become the third sitting Tory MP to host a programme on the right-wing channel, following Esther McVey and Philip Davies, the husband-and-wife team who host morning shows on Fridays and Saturdays. (Dehenna Davison, another Tory MP, formerly co-hosted The Political Correction on Sundays.) The details of Rees-Mogg’s GB News show have not been revealed.
Many a taxpayer might argue that MPs, who earn a basic annual salary of £84,144, shouldn’t have the time for moonlighting in between their parliamentary duties and constituency work. Still, the Chatterer takes some consolation from the fact that, when they do, they must declare their earnings, thereby providing some juicy insights into TV presenter pay.
For instance, thanks to the register of interests, we know that McVey and Davies were paid more than £40,000 each for their work on GB News last year (the figures appear to be up to date only as far as November). According to his latest filing, Davies was paid £6,718.67 on 24 November for presenting nine shows on GB News. McVey’s latest filing, also dated 24 November, reveals she took home £3,333.33 for presenting four episodes. These figures suggest that Davies is paid just shy of £750 per episode, while McVey makes more than £830. Awkward? Maybe, but it’s a fair contribution to the family coffers either way.
The Chatterer looks forward to finding out how the earnings of Rees-Mogg compare.
[See also: “We’re going to disrupt”: A year inside GB News]