EVEN though Boris Johnson whipped his MPs to vote to save Owen Paterson’s skin after he had been caught lobbying for firms which paid him a lot of money, the public knew instinctively that it was wrong and forced the Government into an embarrassing U-turn.

Now the story has moved on to the former Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, who has spent weeks of the year in the British Virgin Islands, voting remotely, while devoting 705 hours in a year to legal work.

The public knows instinctively that this is not right and yesterday’s attempts by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to defend Mr Cox will backfire.

It doesn’t really matter that Mr Cox was paid £970,000 for that work – even if he was paid just a fiver, it would still be wrong.

He is an elected MP, earning a good salary of £82,000-a-year in return for a full time representation of his constituents, assisting with their problems and acting as their eyes in the legislative process in Parliament.

Yet Mr Cox is working about 15 hours a week on non-Parliamentary employment.

No other employer would allow a senior employee such leeway, so why does Parliament? The Conservatives would not select a candidate for election if he said he’d spend much of his time pursuing outside interests in the Caribbean, so why does the Prime Minister turn a blind eye to an MP’s extensive absences from Parliament and his constituency?