As a Labour MP who for 23 years represented one of the poorer areas of the country, my family and I could live well on an MP’s salary. With the exception of perhaps one or two doctors or a headteacher, I earned more than any of the 500 or so members of my local party. My Tory equivalent, representing a seat in the home counties and without a private income, is likely to be one of the poorer members of their constituency party. In a party where status counts, that must be painful. Which is why so many Tories feel obliged to top up their public service salaries with outside earnings.