Ripon MP Julian Smith extends £3,000 an hour advisory role
Last updated Aug 4, 2021
Julian Smith, MP for Ripon and Skipton.

Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon Julian Smith will be paid £3,000 an hour to advise a green energy company for another 12 months.

Mr Smith was first appointed to the advisory position at Ryze Hydrogen in August last year when it was announced he would be paid £60,000 for 20 hours work.

The MP’s register of interests reveals he will have the same arrangement with the company from August 1 until July 31 2022.

Ryze Hydrogen produces and distributes the low-carbon fuel hydrogen. Its chief executive Jo Bamford also owns Wrightbus, a Northern Irish bus manufacturer. Mr Bamford is also a board member of the family-owned JCB company.

As Mr Smith was the Northern Ireland secretary until February 2020, he was warned by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about a “perceived conflict of interest” in taking on the role.

‘Very lucrative remuneration’

Mr Smith has been an MP since 2010 and is paid £81,932 a year for the position.

Alongside his MP’s salary, he earns an additional £130,000 for being an external advisor to three private companies.

Brian McDaid, who stood for the Labour Party against Mr Smith in Skipton and Ripon in 2019, previously told the Stray Ferret that the MP should focus more on his constituents.

He said:

“During these times of austerity and the impact of the pandemic on us all, Mr Smith must be struggling on his MP’s salary to have to seek additional work with very lucrative remuneration.

“His constituents deserve so much better, especially during these very difficult and uncertain times.”

Mr Smith’s three jobs

Ryze Hydrogen: £60,000 for 12 months. He is expected to work 20 hours.

In August last year, Mr Smith took an advisory role with Ryze Hydrogen. Its chief executive Jo Bamford also owns Wrightbus, a Northern Ireland bus production company that has a relationship with the Northern Ireland Office in government.

Simply Blue Management: £2,000 a month for one or two hours a month over 12 months.

In January this year, Mr Smith began advising Cork-based firm Simply Blue Management. Its website describes itself as ‘the leading early stage developer of sustainable and transformative marine projects’.

MJM Marine: £60,000 for 12 months. He is expected to work 30 to 40 hours.

From March 2020, Mr Smith began advising MJM Marine on ‘business development’. The company calls itself a ‘leading international specialist in cruise ship refurbishment’. It’s based in County Down, Northern Ireland.

The Stray Ferret contacted both Julian Smith and Ryze Hydrogen about the appointment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.