A TORY MP has claimed that lobbying scandals would not rack Westminster if the public purse were to pay parliamentarians more money.

Sir Peter Bottomley made the comments just hours after his colleague Owen Paterson was forced to resign in the wake of a scandal which saw him take £100,000 from two firms annually to lobby ministers on their behalf.

Paterson was initially protected by Boris Johnson’s government, who moved to change the rules to protect him. However an intense backlash saw the Tories abruptly U-turn, with an abandoned Paterson left no choice but to step down.

Bottomley, the Father of the House of Commons, wrote in The Times that paying MPs more would prevent such scandals.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories fume at Boris Johnson's 'madness' in Owen Paterson scandal

Under the headline “To prevent another scandal, pay MPs more”, he wrote: "Thick skin, a raincoat and a sense of proportion are what I recommend to prospective members of parliament.

"Who can serve? Someone on a low income may find the financial adjustment welcome, while the well-off will not be particularly bothered by the pay level. The interesting questions come for the reasonably successful."

Bottomley compared MPs’ salaries to that of judges, teachers, and doctors, saying that such professionals should not be forced to take a pay cut if they stand for parliament.

MPs are paid £81,932 a year, which is set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

Bottomley suggested that these wages should not be adjusted every year, but only at general elections.

The long-serving Tory MP previously caused outrage after he suggested in an interview with the New Statesman that his current paycheque was “grim” and insufficient.

Writing in The Times, Bottomley said: “Every MP knows the struggles faced by individuals and households on very low incomes. The word ‘grim’ better describes them rather than our circumstances and I regret once using the word in the wrong context.”