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University of Bolton to pay Tory MP £41,700 a year for part-time job

Image: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

John Hayes’ professorial salary rises by more than 8 per cent

A Conservative member of parliament employed part-time by the University of Bolton has been handed an 8.2 per cent pay rise by the institution, taking his annual professorial salary to more than £41,000.

According to the MP’s register of financial interests, John Hayes (pictured) has worked a second job as a part-time professor in political studies at the University of Bolton since 2020. The most recent edition of the register shows that his annual pay has just been increased from £38,570 to £41,714 for working “20 to 30 hours per month”.

The new salary means that if Hayes works an average of 25 hours a month, roughly equivalent to three days, he is receiving around £1,150 per day.

Hayes has been assisting with the development of an online postgraduate politics course for the university, a master’s in government, opposition and parliamentary studies, which has now been validated and is due to be launched in September this year. It includes a residential visit to Westminster, including talks from politicians.

According to historical entries in the register of interests, Hayes—who was minister for further education, skills and lifelong learning between 2010 and 2012—was initially paid £38,000 a year for the role in 2020, meaning that his pay has increased by an average of 2.4 per cent per year. The raise is in line with other members of academic staff at Bolton, Research Professional News understands.

Research Professional News has approached Hayes for comment.

On course

A spokesperson for the University of Bolton said Hayes had been “instrumental” in the development of the course, with his “first-hand insight on how the government, opposition and parliamentarians work with each other”.

“In addition, Sir John has played a key role in securing speakers and contributing to a scholarly culture which accepts the importance of both political theory and practice,” the spokesperson added. “He regularly meets with senior management of the university.”

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said Hayes was “an effective skills minister, has quite a lot of experience in political lecturing and is such a strong critic of universities that I think it is hard to oppose him engaging directly with one”.

He added: “Surely the way to calm down culture wars is through engagement and dialogue? If second jobs for MPs are to be allowed, and they currently are, then I can think of plenty of worse ones, even though I understand why the media will want to ask questions about whether any university that employs an MP at this sort of salary is getting value for money for their students.”

Second MP at Bolton

Hayes is not the only Conservative MP to have received an annual salary from the University of Bolton in recent years.

Between 2019 and 2021, Andrea Jenkyns, a former higher education minister and deputy chair of the European Research Group of MPs, was paid £25,000 a year by Bolton for eight hours’ work a week heading up the Research Institute of Social Mobility and Education.

During her time in the role, the think tank released only two reports—both in October 2020. Since then, it has not produced any publications.

After Jenkyns stepped down in September 2021, her spokesperson told Research Professional News that she did so after being appointed as a government whip. “Upon her appointment, she resigned from this position,” the spokesperson said.

There is no suggestion that Hayes or Jenkyns have done anything wrong or broken any rules with their work at the University of Bolton.