BLACKBURN MP Jack Straw earned more than £150,000 from work outside Westminster in the last year putting him in the top ten of outside earners.

While not in the same league as ex-Premier Gordon Brown, who took home more than £900,000, or fellow former foreign secretary David Milliband who collected £410,000, Mr Straw’s income dwarfs that of his East Lancashire political colleagues.

His nearest East Lancashire competitor, Rossendale and Darwen Tory Jake Berry, picked up £17,000 mainly earned as a legal consultant to a Manchester solicitors’ firm.

Ribble Valley’s Nigel Evans and Chorley’s Lindsay Hoyle, both Commons deputy speakers, earned not an additional penny on top of their MP’s annual salary of £65,738.

Mr Straw, who served as Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and leader of the Commons as well as Foreign Secretary, collected £157,070 from his outside earnings according the Register of MPs Financial Interests for the 12 months up to July 30 this year.

This placed him tenth in the extra income league, just behind his former Labour Cabinet colleague Alistair Darling’s £172,345.

Mr Straw received £5,310 for writing articles in national newspapers, £59,300 for speaking engagements, and £61,710 for acting as a consultant for E D and F MAN, the world’s oldest surviving sugar and molasses traders.

The Blackburn MP since 1979 also received the second of his two £30,750 advances from Macmillan’s for his autobiography.

He said: “When we discussed this in cabinet and the hair-shirt brigade said that no MPs should have second jobs, I pointed out that we all had second jobs as ministers and well paid ones at that.

“When I was in opposition I used what little I earned to pay towards my office and researchers. I still do that and I do give quite a lot to charity but I don’t use it as an excuse for my extra earnings.

“I find the consultancy work very interesting and my journalistic work enables me to get a national profile for issues I take up of interest to the people of Blackburn such as car insurance scams.”