Julian Smith MP takes second lucrative advisory role
Last updated Jan 21, 2021
Julian Smith, MP for Ripon and Skipton.

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith has been appointed as an external advisor to a green energy company at a rate of between £1,000 and £2,000 per hour.

The former Northern Ireland secretary will be paid £2,000 a month to advise Simply Blue Management for the next year and will work between one and two hours each month.

The company, whose head office is in Cork, describes itself as ‘the leading early stage developer of sustainable and transformative marine projects’.

Last year the Stray Ferret revealed Mr Smith would be paid £3,000 an hour for another external advisor role with low carbon transport company Ryse Hydrogen.

That contract was for 12 months, with Mr Smith being paid £60,000 for 20 hours work.

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As former Northern Ireland secretary until February last year, Mr Smith sought advice from the Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about a potential conflict in taking the new role at Simply Blue Management.

In his response, committee chair Lord Eric Pickles warned Mr Smith there were “inherent risks’ with the appointment due to his previous position.

However, he was happy for Mr Smith to take up the role provided he doesn’t use any information gained during his time as a minister to benefit the business.

He also said the Ripon MP was not allowed to lobby the government on behalf of the business or advise on contracts with the UK government or the Northern Ireland executive for two years from the end of his appointment as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Lord Pickles wrote:

“As a former minister, there are also inherent risks with the contacts you have gained in office. However you have stated that you will not have contact with the government and this role will be advisory.

“The committee would draw your attention to the lobbying and bids and contracts bans below which makes it clear that it would be improper to make use of your contacts (directly or indirectly) to the unfair advantage of your employer, or advise on a bid or contract relating to the UK government or Northern Ireland executive.”

Neither Mr Smith nor Simply Blue Management responded to the Stray Ferret’s request for a comment on his appointment.