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Galloway is highest earner among MPs for journalism
7:23pm Thursday 10th July 2014 in News
NEWLY-released figures have shown that George Galloway earned more than £65,000 in the first four months of the year for his journalistic work - almost as much as his annual MP salary.
The Respect MP for Bradford West has the largest income of any MP from journalism and presenting so far in 2014.
The figures, which come from the latest MPs' register of interests, shows that Mr Galloway registered £25,600 from Associated Press for work on the TV station Russia Today, where he presents a show called Sputnik - Orbiting the World with George Galloway.
He earned an additional £21,450 from LBP TV, a channel broadcast out of the offices of former Iran-backed station Press TV, and £18,000 from Arab-focused satellite channel Al-Mayadeen TV between January and April.
He has not yet declared any figures for May and June.
According to the register, Galloway also presents two weekly television programmes for Press TV on an unpaid basis. He hosts two programmes a month for Al-Mayadeen in Beirut and has his return flights and hotel accommodation paid for.
The annual base rate for MPs is £67,000.
A spokesman for Mr Galloway said the journalism work did not interfere with his ability to represent his constituency, and allowed him to address an international audience.
He added: "He does about two shows a week that take about four or five hours of his time, mainly at weekends.
"Is he not allowed to do other things in his spare time? It is not about the money, he does it to get his message out in different ways.
"Most of this work is international. There is nothing to apologise for - he is definitely not neglecting his constituency. This is all work he is doing in his spare time."
Bradford-born Austin Mitchell also appears on the list. The Bingley Grammar educated Labour MP for Great Grimsby, has earned £10,000 for his work on MP trade magazine House so far in 2014.
Diane Abbott, also Labour, has been paid £5,600 for appearances on BBC Two’s This Week, the register shows.
In total MPs have declared earnings of £150,000 through journalism work from January to June this year.
Not including Mr Galloway's broadcasting earnings, the BBC is the single biggest payer of MPs for journalism work according to the register, a total of £20,677 in the first six months of 2014.
National newspapers, meanwhile, have shelled out just over £27,000 to MPs over the first half of the year, with the Mail and Telegraph titles the highest payers.