by Ray Fleming

He might have been leader of the Labour Party. He might have been President of the European Union's Council of Ministers. Instead he is a backbench Labour MP who is vying with a former Labour prime minister (who also might have been President of the European Union's Council of Ministers) on the international speech-making circuit and high-level advisory business. He's David Miliband who now commands between 15'000 pounds and 20'000 pounds for a speech to top executives and 20'000 pounds a day for his advice to a company such as Vantage Point in California with interests in green technology, energy efficiency and information technology. He is also adviser to an Asian company with extensive interests in Pakistan agricultural. Perhaps he has had advice from Tony Blair who, since resigning as prime minister has assembled a wealthy portfolio of consultancies and speech engagements, as well as reportedly unpaid roles such as Middle East envoy of the EU-Russia-UN-US Quartet on Israel-Palestinian relations.

Mr Miliband has not quite reached Blair's range of commitments but he's getting there from a more limited ministerial base as foreign secretary. In the interests of full disclosure it should also be mentioned that David Miliband is vice-chairman and non-executive director of Sunderland Football Club for which he is paid 75'000 pounds for 12-15 days' work!

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