Members reveal few interests

May 10, 1996

There are few hostages to fortune in the declarations of education and employment frontbenchers to the House of Commons register of members' interests, issued this week, writes Huw Richards.

Gillian Shephard, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, has a nil declaration in common with Labour's further and higher education spokesman Bryan Davies. Higher education minister Eric Forth's only outside interest is occasional income on a house his wife owns in France.

Shadow education and employment secretary David Blunkett receives less than Pounds 1,000 a year as parliamentary adviser to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists while his Liberal counterpart Don Foster receives between Pounds 1,000 and Pounds 5,000 from the Institute of Professionals, Managers and Specialists.

Universities have made some use of parliamentary expertise in accommodation- building projects. Former higher education minister Robert Jackson declares membership of Exeter Residences PLC, Leicester Student Accommodation PLC and Nottingham Trent Residences PLC while his Conservative colleague Dudley Fishburn chairs similar bodies at University College London and Loughborough.

Union consultancies figure for former Labour education spokes-man Ann Taylor, who receives between Pounds 5,000 and Pounds 10,000 from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Labour's Hilary Armstrong and Conservative Keith Hampson both receive between Pounds 1,000 and Pounds 5,000 from the Association of University Teachers. The Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes gets a similar amount from the ATL as does Michael Clark, a Conservative, from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Labour maverick Ken Livingstone declares a weekly lecture on politics to students at Richmond College, an American International University, which earns him between Pounds 1,000 and Pounds 5,000 a year.

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