STANDARDS in public life have come under intense scrutiny in the last fortnight, leaving public confidence at an all-time low.

Many MPs have second jobs, with some, like Sir Geoffrey Cox coining in vast sums on top of their already high salaries.

Freebies, cash for answering questions and donations from the private sector are also the source of deep concern.

FULL LIST: The North East MPs raking in thousands in donations and second jobs

This week, The Northern Echo lifts the lid on where MPs in our region get their income as part of our The Money Trail investigation tracing the cash behind our MPs.

We tracked the cash trail using the Register of Members' Financial Interests, and while there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, there are some surprising results.

We're publishing the records held for every MP in the North East and North Yorkshire to help you understand how your politician compares.

What exactly is on the register

There are ten main categories on the register, which is maintained and updated by the Parliamentary for Commissioner for Standards, and require an MP to declare, where appropriate.

MPs in England must declare additional paid employment (second jobs), donations, gifts, hospitality and any homes where the value is more than £100,000 and/or provides rental income of more than £10,000 a year.

They must also declare any shares they have which amount to more than 15 percent of the issues share capital of that company or more than 15 percent of a partnership, while they must declare any shares valued more than £70,000.

When it comes to family, MPs are required to declare whether any members are employed and receive more than £700 in a calendar year as this comes from taxpayers' money (parliamentary expenses).

MPs are also required to declare the details of any family members involved in "lobbying," which is when an individual tries to persuade someone in Parliament to support a specific policy or campaign.

What's on North West Durham MP Richard Holden's register 

These are the figures for Conservative North West Durham MP, Richard Holden as of November 1.

He does not have any secondary employment 

There are no entries recorded in the register under this category, meaning Mr Holden is not engaged in any secondary employment or additional work that brings in an income.

He received one donation of £2,500

There is one entry which show a donation was linked to the MP but made to the "local party organisation or central party organisation."

An amount of £2,500 was received and given to a "local association" from IX Wireless Ltd of Lockside Road in Preston and was registered on July 19, 2021.

He received tickets to the Brits

Mr Holden received a hospitality ticket to the Mercury Awards, including dinner, with a value of £570 on September 9, 2021 from BPI, based in London. 

He was listed as a company director

Mr Holden is listed as a company director of Bowland Communications Limited, registered in Grindleton, Clitheroe until April 2021, when it was dissolved.

The Northern Echo contacted Richard Holden for comment.


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