Labour MP Barry Gardiner describes himself as a middle-ranking earner - on over £75,000 a year

Gardiner said he is not among the UK's highest band of earners

Barry Gardiner spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer this morning (Flickr)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A member of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet drew the ire of Julia Hartley-Brewer this morning by claiming he was a "middle-ranking earner" - despite earning at least £75,000 a year.

Barry Gardiner made the comment on Julia's show while discussing the Tories' new 'tax bombshell' advert about Jeremy Corbyn and his fiscal policies.

The Tories claim Labour would deliver a £45 billion black hole in tax and debt if they were to be elected. Gardiner said this was nonsense, and in fact the Tories are increasing the overall tax burden.

The Brent North MP said that, whereas under Labour taxes would "fall on those who should most afford them," the Tories are set against this principle.

He told Julia that the Tories' policies will hurt "middle-ranking earners like you and me". However this only prompted incredulity from Julia, who said she knew that she was not a middle-earner and had a fairly good idea that Gardiner wasn't either.

MPs earn a basic salary of £74,962, with additional expenses for travel and accommodation. Gardiner also received over £140,000 from a law firm, allegedly linked to the Chinese state, between November 2015 and December 2016.

The average UK salary for the 2016-17 tax year is £26,000.

Listen above.