UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Tuesday about the government’s plan to tighten the rules on what Parliament Ministers can take on as second jobs. Parliament took immediate action as voting took place last Wednesday as the Labour Party proposed to ban second jobs amid allegations of sleaze or immoral behavior among Conservative MPs, specifically the most recent, which is that Conservative MP Owen Paterson’s case.
MP Parkinson was found to have used his position in lobbying for two of his corporate empooyers. After the scandal broke out, and strong outcries from opposition MPs and some Conservatives, Mr Paterson resigned from his job as Minister of Parliament PM Johnson said he believed that Parkinson had broken the rules, describing the sleaze behavior as “extraordinary,”
In the debate to ban second job rules called by Labour, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said a ban is not necessary because it’s important for MPs maintain connections outside of the Parliament. That way they can draw on the insight and expertise derived from that experiences offered by the world beyond the confines of the parliament.
Although the Labour MPs dismissed the argument that MPs need to do extra work to gain real world experience, contending that serving as an MP should be a full time job. Still, the Labour Party’s proposed ban on second jobs was shot down at the House of Commons.
New Rules on Second Jobs for MPs
The new rules on second jobs do not prohibit MPs from earning extra money to augment their £81,932 annual salary; or for the more noble purpose of gaining greater experience from the world beyond parliament.
MPs can work as professionals in the fields of law or medicine or as consultants or strategists for private companies. However, they should not lobby or carry out actions aimed at altering government policies for the benefit of their employers or benefactors. They should not use the facilities of the House of Commons in performing work on behalf of clients.
Moreover, MPs have to register their outside earnings. If they take part in parliament activities or debate in matters involving or affecting their clients, they should declare such interest in doing so. Any breach of the Parliament’s code of conduct calls for necessary punishment, including suspension. Commons.