NICK CLEGG pocketed a five-figure speaking fee from a billionaire whose pharmaceutical company is registered in a tax haven, the register of MPs’ interests reveals.
An updated register released yesterday shows the former deputy prime minister received £30,000 from Frederik Paulsen, who Forbes has estimated is worth £4.5 billion.
Mr Clegg received the sum for “delivering a speech and participating in a roundtable debate” during an all-expenses-paid trip to Geneva, Switzerland, according to the entry.
For just six hours’ work in April, the Lib Dem MP made more than the £26,500 average annual salary of British workers.
It is not the first time Mr Clegg has benefited from Mr Paulsen’s offshore billions.
Mr Paulsen owns Ferring Pharmaceuticals, which is controlled from Curacao, a Caribbean tax haven.
The Lib Dems accepted four donations, three of them worth more than £100,000, from the company’s British arm before the last general election, the Sunday Times revealed last year.
But the money did not help the Lib Dems’ performance, as the party paid the price for propping up the Tories in coalition between 2010 and 2015.
Mr Clegg was forced to resign as party leader and found himself on the back benches as just one of eight Lib Dem MPs.
Since then, the Sheffield Hallam MP has topped up his £75,000-a-year basic salary with huge speaking fees from big business.
He was paid £22,000 by bankers Goldman Sachs for “delivering a keynote speech and moderating a Q&A over dinner” for two hours in December.
Sheffield Labour MP Gill Furniss told the Star: “No one in Sheffield is going to be impressed by the sight of their Lib Dem MP cashing in yet another five-figure sum off the back of his time propping up the Tories in government.
“While he’s getting a handsome payback, the people I represent are still paying the price of what the coalition did to Sheffield.
“From abandoning Sheffield Forgemasters to savage cuts to our public services and selling out our students, his record in government should be a source of shame rather than a second income.”
The Star contacted Mr Clegg’s office for comment but had not received a response by the time the paper went to print.