MP defends her media cash payments

DON Valley MP Caroline Flint has defended payments made to her by Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

The House of Commons register of members’ interests reveals payments from both News International and the BBC for media work.

Labour shadow cabinet member Ms Flint received £100 for an appearance on Sky TV, part-owned by Murdoch, and an undisclosed sum for appearing on the BBC, both of which have been donated to Don Valley Labour Party. She has also declared a further £300 payment from News International for an article which appeared in The Times.

She said: “I receive occasional small fees for one-off newspaper articles, surveys and TV appearances, including from the BBC and BSkyB. Nine out of 10 of the fees are donated to my local Labour party and I pay the income tax on all fees. I do not have any contract or ongoing arrangement with News International.”

The register revealed Rotherham MP Denis MacShane received £20,000 from news organisations, while Sheffield MP David Blunkett was on a contract worth £5,000 a day with News International as an adviser on a social responsibility project, which finished at the end of June when the News of the World phone hacking scandal intensified. He was paid £25,000 for the six-month appointment.