MPs should not have second jobs, opponents of the Conservative Party in Herefordshire say.

Politicians’ work on behalf of voters should be their full-time job, they argue.

Their criticism comes after Government attempts to spare Tory MP Owen Paterson from suspension by ripping up the standards system.

It was a move that brought a fierce backlash from Conservative colleagues and the public.

The row moved on with later revelations that MP Sir Geoffrey Cox had been working for a month in the British Virgin Islands during lockdown.

The former attorney general earned more than £150,000 in his second job as a lawyer advising the Caribbean tax haven.

Meanwhile, the publicly available Register of Members’ Financial Interests says North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin has for the past six years been managing director of Bermuda-based Emerging Asset Management (EAM), and since 2016 has also been director of two “fund platforms” in the Cayman Islands, and two in Bermuda.

He received director’s fees of £21,942 in February for these directorships, plus a £3,195 bonus, as well as £49,140 a year “for an expected eight hours a week for these two directorships and for my managing director role”.

EAM “provides fund managers with an innovative turnkey solution on how to start a hedge fund and launch new funds in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Delaware, USA”, its website says, with clients including “hedge funds, private equity funds, property funds, commodities funds and other fund types”.

Mr Wiggin announced in March that the company had reached the “milestone” of $1bn in managed assets.

He is also a non-executive director of Herefordshire payment collection firm Allpay, for which he receives £2,000 for “approximately 10 hours a year”.

He also listed “ad hoc income from lodgers at my London home, paid to my wife” in the register under “land and property giving rental income of over £10,000 a year”.

Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, meanwhile, has shares valued at more than £70,000 in Genie Toys of Cheltenham, but holds no salaried or consultancy posts, the parliamentary register shows.

“There is a clear public policy case for allowing MPs to have outside interests,” Mr Norman said.

“Parliament would be worsened if it only included a narrow caste of professional politicians. But for this system to work, there has to be a rigorous process of investigation and enforcement to prevent abuses.”

That “was put at risk by the Government last week” in its vote to reject the suspension of North Shropshire MP Mr Paterson for paid lobbying, he said. “The Government has now rightly admitted its mistake.”

Mr Norman abstained from the vote on Mr Paterson and the revised standards procedure, while Mr Wiggin voted for it.

The Liberal Democrats then secured an emergency debate on standards in the Commons on Monday afternoon, during which the question of MPs’ second incomes was again raised.

Herefordshire LibDem spokesperson Phillip Howells, who was runner-up in North Herefordshire in the 2019 general election and who has previously stood for the Conservatives, agreed that MPs shouldn’t have other sources of income.

“It’s a good salary but not that high by international standards and could be more,” he said. “It’s about transparency – it would be better if MPs weren’t doing things that they could be questioned about.”

Hereford and south Herefordshire Labour Party chair Anna Coda agreed that being an MP should entail “a full-time commitment to the day job”, and backed a call by former shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett to ban MPs from holding second jobs.

Ellie Chowns, who stood for the Green Party in the North Herefordshire in the last two general elections, also said: “Being an MP is a full-time, well-paid job and anyone who has the honour of being elected as MP should focus entirely on working for the public benefit, not for private interests.

“Moonlighting on the side is completely incompatible with the role of MP.”

MPs currently receive a basic salary of £81,932, plus expenses covering their parliamentary office costs, London or constituency residence, and travel between their constituency and Parliament.