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Chris Grayling sets sail again with new £100,000 ports advisory role

City AM logo City AM 17/09/2020 12:34:49 Edward Thicknesse
Chris Grayling wearing a suit and tie © Provided by City AM

Former transport secretary Chris Grayling's latest endeavour has been revealed - an £100,000 per year role to advise a global port company.

The Tory MP will be paid for seven hours of work a week for a year by China-headquartered Hutchison Ports, the MPs' register of financial interests said.

Read more: Julian Lewis calls Tory party sacking 'strange' after Grayling plot

The company operates Harwich, Felixstowe and London Thamesport in the UK, as well as numerous other harbours around the world.

Whitehall's business appointments watchdog has approved the appointment, although there were some concerns that Grayling could give the firm an unfair advantage.

However, it said that his role would be limited to advising Hutchison on its environmental strategy as well as engagement with local economic bodies.

According to the minutes of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), while at the Department of Transport Grayling's main engagement with the maritime sector was focused on short sea routes that would be affected by the UK leaving the EU.

"DfT noted your engagement focused on short sea routes and would have meant you developed some relationships and insights into some companies, such as shipping lines, that use Felixstowe in particular", it said.

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However, Grayling confirmed that he "will not give advice on any matters relating to Brexit; nor Hutchison's commercial maritime activities in the UK outside the environmental field".

As conditions for his appointment, Acoba said that Grayling will also be banned from lobbying ministers on the firm's behalf or advising on UK government tenders until July 2021 - two years after he left the Cabinet.

Grayling's escapades in the maritime sector include the now notorious decision to award a contract to provide additional ferry services to a firm which had never even sailed a vessel.

Critics ridiculed the Epsom and Ewell MP over the £13.8m contract, which was later cancelled.

Read more: Chris Grayling loses committee chair vote in Tory rebellion

The new role comes after Grayling missed out on the chair of the influential Intelligence and Security committee back in July, despite being Downing Street's preferred candidate.

Rebel Tory Julian Lewis was voted in instead of Grayling, and subsequently had the Conservative whip removed. 

The post Chris Grayling sets sail again with new £100,000 ports advisory role appeared first on CityAM.

17. syyskuuta 2020 15:34:49 Categories: City AM

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