It is curious how MPs who claim that second jobs help give them ‘non-political experience’ never take up shifts at a call centre or wait tables at the local Pizza Express. For some reason, they often end up with a preposterously well-remunerated consultancy gig.
That makes the Geoffrey Cox case a little unusual. Sir Geoffrey, the former Attorney General with a booming voice that could grace a West End stage, has genuine expertise that travels far beyond his contacts book. He is a highly-regarded barrister and QC after all.
His mistake appears to be using his Westminster office to conduct non-Parliamentary business, as first reported by Henry Zeffman in The Times. Sir Geoffrey says he does not believe he breached the rules.
The focus is on Cox partly because of the enormous sums involved (£900,000 in the last year) and the fact that he was representing the British Virgin Islands in an inquiry brought by the UK Government relating to allegations of corruption. But the issue goes well beyond one person.
Cox has not necessarily helped himself today. If you know how to have a good time, you can read his whole (and brief) statement here. On which basis, Sir Geoffrey either needs to fire his PR or get one.
[By the way, we’ve reached the end of the Cox section without a single ill-advised pun because this is a family newsletter.]
The other big story of the day is happening at COP26 in Glasgow. The draft text published this morning could have charitably been described as a work in progress even were it not packed with square brackets and placeholders.
Tl;dr? If the aim of COP26 was to keep 1.5C alive, the draft text appears to have it on life support. It essentially concedes that not enough has been done, and calls on nations to toughen up their emissions targets by the end of 2022, given the yawning chasm between current pledges and reductions required to avoid catastrophic climate change.
In the comment pages, Tom Newton Dunn writes that, with MPs’ postbags reflecting voters’ anger, this is a moment of great risk for Boris Johnson.
And finally, Reveller Editor David Ellis is on the sauce again, this time at the Drunken Buttler in Clerkenwell, with its great passion for golden oldies.
This article appears in our newsletter, West End Final – delivered 4pm daily – bringing you the very best of the paper, from culture and comment to features and sport. Sign up here.