JLA in the Press

Chakrabarti for hire at £5,000 a speech
Posted on October 16, 2016

Shami Chakrabarti, the ally whom Jeremy Corbyn made a Labour peer and shadow attorney-general, is hiring herself out for up to £5,000 a speech despite serving in the shadow cabinet.

David Cameron barred his shadow cabinet from holding second jobs while in opposition, after pressure from Labour.

Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, tried to ban MPs from all directorships and consultancies and last week the parliamentary standards committee also proposed curbs on MPs’ outside earnings.

Chakrabarti advertises with JLA, “the UK’s biggest specialist agency for keynote, motivational and after dinner speakers, conference presenters, awards hosts and cabaret for corporate, industry and public sector events”.

The former human rights lawyer, who headed the campaign group Liberty, is listed as a “C” grade booking, meaning she commands fees of £2,500-£5,000. The agency’s website says she “turned Liberty into an effective campaigning organisation, leading debate on civil rights from ID cards to surveillance”, adding: “The Sun once dubbed her ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain’.”

Other JLA speakers include the physicist and broadcaster Brian Cox, who commands fees of £10,000-£25,000, and Peter Andre, the singer and reality TV star, who earns more.Chakrabarti declares her “occasional speaking engagements” on the House of Lords register of interests, noting that she has not had any since she entered parliament last month.However, the lucrative side-line risks fuelling anger among Labour MPs and peers who are unhappy over her appointment and promotion.Jewish groups have suggested Chakrabarti was given her peerage in return for carrying out a “whitewash” report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, something she and Corbyn’s office have denied.There is also resentment among the parliamentary Labour Party over Corbyn’s decision to parachute her straight into his shadow cabinet.

Chakrabarti failed to respond to inquiries.

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