Politics

PM proposes ban on MPs as paid political consultants or lobbyists



B

oris Johnson has proposed banning MPs from acting as paid political consultants or lobbyists as he tries to stem the sleaze row that has battered the Tory party.

He said he had written to the Commons Speaker to propose the Code of Conduct for MPs is updated.

Detailing his plans in a letter to Sir Lindsay Hoyle the Prime Minister said the Government would ensure MPs who are “neglecting their duties to their constituents and prioritising outside interests would be investigated, and appropriately punished by the existing disciplinary authorities”.

He added they “would also ban MPs from exploiting their positions by acting as paid political consultants or lobbyists.”

The move is an attempt to draw a line under the damaging saga that began with Mr Johnson’s bid to overhaul the disciplinary system to prevent the immediate suspension of Owen Paterson.

Mr Johnson’s latest plans came a day ahead of Labour staging a vote to ban MPs from taking paid consultancies or directorships during an opposition day debate on Wednesday.

Sir Keir said Labour will “look carefully” at the Prime Minister’s proposals, adding: “If he is accepting the motion in full then that’s a significant victory for us in our work to clean up politics.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer speaks during a press conference outlining Labour’s plan for improving politics ahead of Wednesday’s Opposition Day debate

/ PA

He told reporters: “We’ve had two weeks of Tory sleaze and corruption. Be under no illusion, the Prime Minister has only done this because his back was against the wall because the Labour Party have put down a binding vote for tomorrow.”

Sir Keir has called for a stricter crackdown which would “ban second jobs for MPs” with “limited exemptions” in a speech shortly before the PM announced his plans when he also added: ‘It’s time to ban MPs from being paid directors and commercial consultants. That should not be a controversial situation.”

The Government and Conservative backbenchers would have found themselves in the difficult position of having to either back Labour’s plans or face allegations they were not stamping out sleaze.



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