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Former housing minister Mark Prisk paid £208 an hour by private developer

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Former housing minister Mark Prisk paid £208 an hour by private developer

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development

Former housing minister Prisk paid 208 an hour by private developer Former housing minister Prisk paid 208 an hour by private developer

One of the coalition government's ex-housing ministers has secured a well-paid job with a private housing developer.

Mark Prisk MP, who served as housing minister for 13 months over 2012-13, is being paid £15,000-£20,000 a year by Essential Living for one day's work a month - equating to £208 an hour.

As reported in Private Eye, in January Essential Living urged the government to "remove unnecessary planning barriers to the development of new stock for the private rented sector" especially concerning the relaxation of section 106s, the agreements that bind private developers to building a certain percentage of social homes alongside their schemes.

According to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which gave the MP permission to take up the role, Prisk was brought in by Essential Living to help it "establish a recognisable brand".

The MP banked his first £1,500 from the developers on 1 July, the Register of Members' Financial Interests reveals.

Prisk, who was replaced as housing minister by Kris Hopkins in October 2013, has been criticised by members of the Labour party in his constituency of Hertford and Stortford.

Labour spokesman Graham Nickson said: "I thought being an MP was a full-time job.

"If I said to my manager I was going to do another job but I still expected the same wage for my current work, she wouldn't accept that. You are either an MP or you are not.

"It's not fair that with so many challenges for Mr Prisk that he can be a part-time MP."

However, Prisk has defended taking on the role at Essential Living, claiming that the position will actually enhance his abilities as an MP.

Prisk said: "The private rental sector needs reforming and improving and Essential Living are at the forefront of that."

On its website, Essential Living explains that it aims to "rewrite the rules of rental, removing the complexities that renters currently face and providing tenants with more time to play, more space to live, more freedom to choose and more reasons to trust."

The developer is currently facing objections over a planned 24-storey tower in Camden, which is so far failing to fulfil Camden Council's requirement for 50% social housing provision.

We are waiting for a response from Essential Living.

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