Dover MP who said Marcus Rashford should focus on football has second job on top of £81k salary

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke.

A Conservative MP who suggested Marcus Rashford should stick to his day job playing football, rather than politics, herself has a second job.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke is making almost £100 an hour as an adviser for a new build homes independent watchdog.

She has been earning the equivalent of £36,000 a year on top of her £81,932 annual salary as an MP since January, according to a register of MPs' financial interests.

Earlier this year, Elphicke apologised after suggesting the England footballer should have spent more time “perfecting his game” rather than “playing politics” after England's Euros defeat.

The financial register shows at the time she was criticising Rashford's child poverty campaigning over free school meals, Elphicke herself had declared a second job.

Since January, she has been earning nearly £700 a week as the chair of the New Homes Quality Board.

She received a £21,000 lump sum in November 2020 for working approximately six hours a week between 26 May and 30 November 2020 for the industry watchdog.

From January 18, 2021 until further notice, she confirmed she would be receiving £3,000 a month for working approximately eight hours a week.

That amounts to nearly £100 an hour, before tax deductions.

Her part-time earnings are greater than the median full-time salary in England, which was £31,461 before tax for the year ending April 2020.

Ms Elphicke was selected as the Conservative candidate for the Dover constituency on November 8, 2019.

She succeeded her ex-husband Charlie Elphicke, who was jailed in September 2020 for three counts of sexual assault against two women.

He was released after serving half his sentence.

Charlie Elphicke was jailed in September 2020 for sexual assault

It comes as MPs face scrutiny over second jobs, after it emerged former attorney general Geoffrey Cox earned more than £1m working as a lawyer for clients including the British Virgin Islands, which he helped defend in a corruption case brought by the UK Government.

He denied breaking Commons rules over his employment, and over voting by proxy from the Caribbean during the UK's Covid lockdown.

The question of MPs' earnings outside their constituency roles has sparked a wider national debate on supplementing their pay with second jobs.

Some ministers have defended the practise, pointing out MPs who work part time for the NHS.

However others have raised concerns about positions on boards, after Owen Paterson saga sharpened raised a debate about parliamentary “sleaze.”

Critics have claimed there is potential for MPs to be influenced by lobbying pressures during the course of their work outside Parliament.

Elphicke said at the time of her apology over the comments about Rashford: “I applaud the England team who gave their all in Euro 2020.

“Last night I shared the frustration and heartbreak of millions of other England fans.

“I regret messaging privately a rash reaction about Marcus Rashford’s missed penalty and apologise to him for any suggestion that he is not fully focussed on his football.

“Onwards to the World Cup and I look forward to Marcus Rashford’s contribution at that time.”

MPs are allowed to have second jobs while in office, as long as their outside work does not breach lobbying rules or interfere with their role in the Commons.

Labour MP Angela Rayner criticised Elphicke on Twitter over her second job, writing: Boris Johnson needs to decide whether his MPs are MPs representing their constituents or if they are consultants working for private interests who pay them. They can’t be both.""It’s time for the PM to come out of hiding and show some leadership for once."

Ms Elphicke has been approached for comment.