WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine has come under fire for taking on private work in the health sector.

The MP who resigned his junior health ministerial post in the spring has taken on part-time work with Remedium Partners, a recruitment agency for the NHS, and also for Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

The register of members' interests shows that Mr Brine could earn up to £40,000 a year for the work.

Patrick Davies, former leader of the Labour group on the city council, said of the MP's Letter from Westminster column in the Chronicle: "It is surely astonishing that at no point in this article does he mention his recently acquired highly lucrative interests in two health and pharmaceutical companies for which he can now 'earn' almost £40,000 per annum on top of his MP's salary. Is this what his constituents expect from their MP?"

Mr Brine asked for comment emailed yesterday: "All outside interests are registered as per all the rules. Adding up theoretical day rates is not what it seems. If only!"

He has however had the party whip returned to him which means he will be the party's candidate at the General Election scheduled for December 12. It had been removed from him because he had rebelled against the party line on Brexit.

He said: “I have always done what I think is right, in the best interests of my constituency and our country without fear or favour.

“Some will agree, some will not but being an experienced MP is always about using your judgement and showing independence of mind. It’s been a difficult few months but I was very pleased to have the whip restored which shows the Conservative Party remains the broad church it must always be.”