Tory MP Earns £1,000 An Hour Helping Oligarchs To Buy London Homes
Sir Tony Baldry has taken a job with Werner Capital, who advise wealthy foreigners on how to invest in the London property market.
A senior Conservative MP is earning £1,000 an hour as a director of a firm which specialises in advising wealthy overseas investors on how to buy luxury property in London, BuzzFeed has learnt.
Sir Tony Baldry, the MP for Banbury and a former minister, was last month appointed Associate Director of Werner Capital, which offers property advice to "ultra high net worth" individuals.
According to the firm's website, Werner Capital helps wealthy individuals from around the world buy expensive property in London and protect their money from "political upheaval" abroad.
"We offer our private clients solutions for their tax, estate planning and structuring issues," the company states.
Former employees of Werner Capital say that the firm focuses on helping "ultra high net-worth individuals" from "Russia and the CIS". This means Baldry's new employer helps oligarchs from Russia and former Soviet states buy British luxury property.
The disclosure comes as the government comes under pressure to find ways of discouraging wealthy overseas investors from buying up UK properties. London property prices have been driven to record highs, in part due an influx of foreign investment from Russia, China and other emerging markets.
Baldry listed a £5,000 payment for just five hours work for Werner Capital on the April edition of the Register of MP's interests. He has since registered a further £20,000 advance payment to cover the next four months work, suggesting an annual salary of £60,000 for the part-time role.
On top of this he receives around £120,000 a year as chairman of a linked firm, paper company Kazakhstan Kagazy plc.
Tomas Mateos Werner, who runs Werner Capital, is the largest shareholder of Kazakhstan Kagazy plc and chief executive of its parent company.
These earnings are in addition to Baldry's £66,396 salary as a member of parliament and a further £40,000 a year from his role as chairman of oil company Woburn Energy.
On annual basis this takes the MP's total declared income to over £280,000 a year.
Baldry defended his decision to take the new job with Werner Capital on top of his other roles: "I have been in the House of Commons for over 30 years and with the exception of the eight years when I was a minister I have always had outside interests."
"So there would be absolutely no scintilla of a doubt on this matter, at the last general election I made it very clear on my election address that I had outside interests and would continue to maintain outside interests if I were re-elected to parliament," he added.