North-east MSP slated for high earnings from second job

Alexander Burnett.

A North-east politician is among a string of MSPs facing a backlash over their second jobs.

Conservative Alexander Burnett, who represents Aberdeenshire West, has revealed his firm AJA Burnett Estate could turn over more than £170,000 this year.

When declaring his outside income to the Scottish Parliament, he added that he only expects to spend “zero to one day” per month on the property leasing and forestry business.

In addition, he is also expected to receive up to £2,000 from the profits of property investment firm St Andrew Street Development and £6,273 plus private health insurance as a director of housing company North Banchory. On top of these, he receives an annual salary of £61,778 for his duties as a Scottish parliamentarian.

A party spokesman said: “None of this impacts on his ability as an MSP.”

The Scottish Conservative spokesman added: “The profits and losses of (AJA Burnett Estate) fluctuate each year and Alexander Burnett has amended his register accordingly.”

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “This is more evidence of Tory politicians seeing parliament as nothing more than a way to pass the time while they coin it in from their business interests.”