| Owen Paterson |
|Born||Owen William Paterson|
Whitchurch, Shropshire, England
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College (Cambridge), University of Northampton|
|Children|| • Felix Ned|
|Member of||Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China|
Owen William Paterson (born 24 June 1956) is a Conservative Party politician who was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012 to 2014. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire at the UK/1997 General Election.
Owen Paterson was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet of David Cameron in 2007 as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. During the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, where he remained until being moved to DEFRA in 2012. He has since been more widely known as a leading supporter of Brexit and an outspoken critic of the European Union.
In 2014, Owen Paterson established and became the Chairman of UK 2020, a right-wing think tank based in Westminster. In 2016, Paterson joined the political advisory board of Leave Means Leave.
Paterson as Consultant
Since being returned to the backbenches Paterson has gained substantial income from a range of consultancy activities.
Besides his salary as an MP, Paterson is reported to earn £8,333 a month for a monthly commitment of 16 hours from Randox Laboratories, Northern Ireland. In March 2020, Metro News reported that Randox has been selling a rapid ‘COVID-19 home testing kit’ priced at £120 which purports to be ‘the only test in the world that can identify the lethal strain and differentiate between other non-lethal variants with the same symptoms’. On 11 May 2020, The Guardian reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has awarded Randox a £133 million contract to produce testing kits to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic. It was awarded “without prior publication of a call for competition”, according to details of the contract seen by The Guardian.
Paterson also receives £2,000 for 4 hrs every other month (24 hrs a year) to a total of £12,000 per annum from Lynn's Country Foods Ltd, a Northern Ireland based processor and distributor of sausages. He received payment of £4,399.06 from the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association Ltd for a single speech.
£480 million contract
On 18 February 2021, Will Thorpe tweeted:
- "Amazing stroke of luck for Tory MP Owen Paterson after Randox, the company that pays him £100k a year as an adviser, is awarded £480m worth of Covid contracts without tender."
- "Her Majesty’s Government"
- "Co-Chairmen – Political Advisory Board – Supporters"
- "North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson denies breaking lobbying rules"
- "Tory MP paid £100,000 a year by company selling £120 private coronavirus tests"
- "They work for you"
- "Amazing stroke of luck for Tory MP Owen Paterson after Randox, the company that pays him £100k a year as an adviser, is awarded £480m worth of Covid contracts without tender"
- Sam Coates & Francis Elliot, The Times, July 17, 2008 ("Tory MPs' use of staff budgets to pay for PR advice 'against rules'")