Labour's Brexit secretary Keir Starmer turns down Mishcon job after conflict of interest criticism from James Cleverly

Catherine Neilan
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Last summer Mishcon paid Starmer £4,500 a month for six hours' work (Source: Getty)

Labour frontbencher and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has turned down a role with law firm Mishcon de Reya after concerns were raised that it might present a conflict of interest.

Mishcon, which represented investment banker Gina Miller during her successful high court challenge over Article 50, was in talks about appointing Starmer in an advisory role similar to one he held prior to joining the front benches.

James Cleverly MP wrote to the Labour frontbencher yesterday asking him to clarify his position. In his letter he noted that as well as being shadow Brexit secretary he had "also recently been made a member of the Privy Council, which will allow you privileged acecss to documents and information".

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"Members of the public will rightly detect a conflict of interest between your paid work for the law firm and your important role on the front bench," Cleverly added.

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The MP for Holborn and St Pancras has today issued a statement saying he will no longer pursue the role.

“I am grateful to Mishcon de Reya for discussing a possible role advising the Mishcon Academy with me, but given my other commitments, I have decided not to further the discussions.”

According to the register of members' financial interests Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, earned £4,500 a month for six hours' work each month from Mishcon last summer.

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