Those who erupted in shock yesterday at the news that Andrew Mackay had landed a job with Burson-Marsteller will no doubt be outraged* by my latest intel.
I’m informed reliably that Julie Kirkbride, Mackay’s wife, has been chatting to several lobbying firms in the last month or so about work post-election. I’m told she is aiming for an annual salary of about £100,000 with flexible working patterns to fit around school holidays. Not certain exactly which firms she has been talking to as yet.
At this point I should make clear that I’ve not managed to put this to Ms Kirkbride yet – no one is picking up her phone in the Commons or her constituency, although I’ve left a message. Obviously will update if she disputes the story.
As we pointed out yesterday, Mackay and Kirkbride are both leaving the Commons after the election, having together had to pay back about £60,000 of expenses.
Any move into lobbying by former Tory MPs is interesting this week because of David Cameron’s speech on Monday damning the industry and castigating the revolving doors between politics and lobbying.
“Is this the same David Cameron, the former head of communications for Carlton?” one lobbyist asks me, incredulous. You can see his point. Not least given that several dozen new Tory MPs entering the Commons this summer are – if the polls are correct – former lobbyists.