This week Sol Campbell was named as a bookies’ favourite to be the next Tory candidate for Kensington after Sir Malcolm Rifkind stepped down following a cash for access scandal. While Rifkind’s resignation has sparked a debate over whether MPs should be allowed to have second jobs, the former Arsenal footballer thinks there is a simple solution.
When Mr S caught up with Campbell at the 6th anniversary Amos Bursary dinner at the House of Lords to raise funds to help African and Caribbean British young men realise their ambitions, Campbell said MP salaries should be increased to over £67,000. ‘They should raise the salary, then you would have more diverse candidates,’ he told Mr S.
However, Campbell shouldn’t have to worry too much about this as he admits that he is far more likely to run for London mayor than as the Conservative candidate for Kensington. ‘I saw there are good odds on me for the Kensington seat but the thing is a lot of people are after it and as it’s a safe seat they need to pick the right person,’ he says. ‘With London mayor, all I can say is watch this space.’
Happily for Campbell, if he does decide to run for mayor he will find the pay more pleasing than that of an MP’s. Boris Johnson currently earns £143,911 per annum, compared to the £67,060 a lowly MP makes.
Still, Mr S suspects it’s slim pickings compared to his salary as a footballer.