Raab defends Cox over preventing exposure of tax haven.
The SNP has said the “stench of Tory sleaze in Westminster grows stronger by the day” following reports that Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox spent up to a month in the British Virgin Islands working to defend the tax haven against a Foreign Office inquiry into corruption.
The ex-attorney general earned more than £150,000 in his second job as a lawyer advising the British Virgin Islands – ranked as the “greatest enabler of corporate tax abuse” – and took advantage of lockdown rules to vote in the Commons by proxy
Since leaving the frontbench, Geoffrey Cox has spoken in the Commons only once, in a debate on fixed-term parliaments in September 2021 – yet is the highest earning MP.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab defended his Tory colleague’s actions on Times Radio just a week after public backlash over the UK government’s attempt to change parliamentary standards rules to spare a Tory MP from suspension after being found to have broken lobbying rules.
Commenting, Pete Wishart MP (pictured) said:
“Just days after the Tory government’s shameless attempt to bring down the independent parliamentary standards commissioner and overhaul the rules to save one of their own – UK ministers are at it again and out defending the questionable behaviour of another Tory MP.
“It seems that this UK government is unable to learn from its mistakes and the stench of Tory sleaze in Westminster grows stronger by the day.
“There are serious questions for Geoffrey Cox to answer over why he thinks it is more important to be 4000 miles away from his constituency and the people he is supposed to represent to defend an island known for helping the rich hide their money.
“Indeed, it appears he has spoken in only one debate in the last three months but still ranks as the highest earning MP.
“Yet again we see that when it comes to the Tories and their mates, it’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else.
“There are MPs across the House who have not been able to vote and represent their constituents because of illness and caring responsibilities yet the former attorney general was allowed to do so from all the way in the British Virgin Islands on his second job.
“This is just the latest in a series of scandals endemic of this Tory government and Westminster – it’s time for Scotland to escape it.
“The only way we can truly walk away from the cronyism and sleaze at the heart of the UK government is to become an independent country.”