Overnight it emerged the government’s dropped plans to limit MPs’ earnings from second jobs over concerns such caps on pay or hours would be “impractical”. Feedback submitted by Barclay and Spencer to the Commons Standards Committee consultation outlines their opposition:
“The imposition of time limits would not necessarily serve to address recent concerns over paid advocacy and the primary duty of MPs to serve their constituents. It could be possible, for example, for a Member to conduct work within the accepted time limits but that does not necessarily mean such work is ‘appropriate’ even if it did not constitute ‘paid advocacy’.”
“In respect of a cap on earnings from outside work to impose such a limit could serve to prohibit activities which do not bring undue influence to bear on the political system. Earnings from activities such as writing books for example, would not preclude Members from meeting their principal duty to their constituents.”
Ironically given the consultation was sparked by the Geoffrey Cox second earnings row, the day this feedback emerges the latest register of MPs’ interests has been published – and Cox has registering another £54,354.50 for 35 hours of legal services. Cracking timing.
Other big earners include Theresa May whose trip to Australia to ‘to promote gender diversity in politics and business’ totalled £38,700; and Rachel Reeves who pocketed £25,121.63 for ‘research and writing services’. MPs also totalled over £2,000 in articles, Chris Bryant took £200 for Any Questions, Esther McVey £3,150 for her GB News presenting, and Dawn Butler £1,500 for Have I Got News For You. She needs to have a word with her agent – Jess Phillips got £15,000…