Sir Keir has unveiled his 155-page door-stopper for “a new Britain”, in which he promises to replace the House of Lords, appoint a new anti-corruption commissioner, and move 50,000 civil service jobs out of London. It also reignites the second jobs melodrama that gripped SW1 last year, by promising to ban “the vast majority” of them to “remove conflicts of interest”:
“Second jobs are banned in the American Congress, but a quarter of Conservative MPs had second jobs. In 2012, over 200 MPs received earnings on top of their £65,738 salary. Many were small payments for journalism or the like, but additional earnings as high as £1m were recorded, which means significant time and effort spent on non-parliamentary business.”
The only exceptions will be “for employment required to maintain professional memberships, such as medicine.” Presumably the hundreds of thousands of pounds that shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has racked up in speaking fees and presenting gigs falls slightly out of the “small payments” remit. Likewise, the £25,934.18 Starmer has declared in legal fees over the last two years isn’t chump change either. Who footed the £17,598.60 bill for 70 hours of Starmer’s time just before he became leader?