On the 25th of February 2015, the SNP’s Pete Wishart MP said in parliament: “I believe that being a Member of Parliament is a full-time job.” He went on to say “No SNP Member has a second job, a directorship or a place on a company. Our responsibilities here are our sole concern and our only responsibility.”
Alex Salmond clearly puts himself above ordinary SNP MPs. As well as being paid by the BBC and as an MP, he also hosts a weekly radio show for LBC. In addition to this, he receives £1,641 per month as an SNP MSP. In 2015 he recorded that he earned £27,000 for “articles and interviews” in the Dundee Courier and the Aberdeen Press and Journal over a 2 month period. In addition to this, he has income from Daily Record and The National. He also has considerable income from the books he has written and has recorded income of up to £12,500 for a speech. Whilst attending the “Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Golf Open Tournament” he accepted hospitality worth in excess of £1000.
We also know that Salmond refused to repay his £65,000 ‘resettlement grant’ he received when he voluntarily left the Commons in 2010 despite returning in 2015.
Mr Salmond does direct some of his income to a charity, including one he established in the name of his mother – The Mary Salmond Trust. The charity’s total income in 2014 was £4, but in 2015 this is reported to have risen to £7,848.
He also directs publishing and media income to a private company – The Chronicles Of Deer Limited. Mr Salmond is the sole shareholder, but Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (a SNP MP) is a director. As yet, there are no published accounts but there have been repeated claims that the purpose of the company is to reduce Mr Salmond’s tax liabilities.
There is no suggestion that Mr Salmond is breaking the law, but it is clear that for him being an MP is not a full-time job.