A HANDFUL of MPs in the region own dozens of rental properties, including one from County Durham who rents out 16 houses and flats.

Sedgefield MP Paul Howell is the MP with the highest number of properties in the country.

The Conservative MP has two flats in County Durham, five houses in Durham and nine in Darlington. The three groups are registered as being above £100,000 in value and give him a rental income of more than £10,000 a year. Mr Howell says collectively all these properties give a rental income between £10,000-£20,000.

Read more: On the money trail to see where MPs’ cash come from

Of the 37 MPs for the North East and North Yorkshire, 14 declared at least one property as part of their portfolio, owning a total of 47.

Some are used as holiday homes while 38 are rented out for an income of more than £10,000 a year.

MPs’ earnings and second jobs are under intense scrutiny after it emerged Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Cox earned about £900,000 last year through his work as a lawyer.

The former attorney general has denied breaking any rules, and there are no suggestions any politicians in our region have done so either, but it has thrust the issue of MPs finances back in the spotlight. 

As a result, The Northern Echo is lifting the lid on where MPs in our region get their money. We traced the cash trail using the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, with some surprising results.

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

Four North Yorkshire MPs earn income from multiple properties, including Julian Smith, the MP for Skipton and Ripon, who has three in London, and Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, who has a third share in four properties in York and a half share in another.

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, owns a commercial and residential property in Selby and co-owns two residential properties in York with his wife Claire.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, owns a farm in York, three industrial units on the farm, four houses in Teesside and a flat in London earning him an income of at least £10,000 a year.

Mr Goodwill also claims rent through his parliamentary expenses, a

controversial practise which was criticised by senior Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale last week, who said it was “plain wrong” for MPs to claim rent on expenses while renting out a property in London.

The arrangement is permitted under Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) rules and many of those who claim are also critical of the system, claiming it ultimately costs taxpayers more, but that they are pushed into the arrangement as MPs are not allowed to claim mortgage interest payments as expenses.

Describing his entry as “self-explanatory” Mr Goodwill said: “We live on a farm where we have been since 1850.” He did not comment on his London property.

MPs who own properties but do not declare rented income include Richmond MP Rishi Sunak, who owns a flat in London, Liz Twist, who owns a house in France, Chi Onwurah who has two homes in Portugal and Northumberland, Kate Osborne who part owns a flat in Kent,

Catherine McKinnell who has joint ownership of a residential rented property in Northumberland, Ian Mearns who has a part share in two houses in Gateshead and Rachael Maskell, who has shared ownership of a flat in London.

What property is owned by MPs in the North East and North Yorkshire?

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby

• Southwood Farm, York (rental income)

• Three industrial units on Southwood Farm (rental income)

• Four houses in Teesside (rental income)

• Flat in London (rental income)

Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield 

• Two flats in County Durham (rental income)

• Five houses in Durham (rental income)

• Nine houses in Darlington (rental income)

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington 

• House in North Yorkshire owned jointly with civil partner (rental income)

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon

• Three residential properties in London (rental income)

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton

• A third share in four properties in York (rental income)

• A half share in property in York (rental income)

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond

• Flat in London (value over £100,000)

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty

• One mixed use commercial and residential property in Selby (rental income)

• Two residential properties in York co-owned with wife (rental income)

Rachael Maskell, MP for York central 

• Shared ownership of flat in London (value over £100,000)

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed

• Flat in London (rental income)

Liz Twist, MP for Blaydon

• House in Maine et Loire, France (value over £100,000)

Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead

• Part share in two houses in Gateshead (value over £100,000)

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central 

• House in Nothumberland (value over £100,000)

• Holiday apartment in Portugal (value over £100,000)

Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North

• Joint ownership of residential rented property in Northumberland (value over £100,000)

Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow

• Part owner of flat in Kent (value over £100,000)