The Labour Party have promised to ban Members of Parliament from taking paid second jobs whilst they are still elected to represent their constituents in the House of Commons.
In a section of their 2019 General Election Manifesto released today, Jeremy Corbyn’s party have promised to completely ban MPs from accepting paid work on top of their Parliamentary salary.
In a section entitled “Tackling Vested Interests“, the 2019 Labour Manifesto promises numerous innovative policies intended to tackle corruption within politics, stating:
“Labour will change how politics is funded, banning donations from tax avoiders and tax evaders, and closing loopholes that allow the use of shell companies to funnel dark money into politics.“
“We will free the voices of civil society by repealing the Lobbying Act 2014 and overhauling the rules that govern corporate lobbying. We will introduce a lobbying register covering both in-house lobbyists and think tanks and extending to contacts made with all senior government employees, not just ministers.“
“We will also increase the financial penalties available to the Electoral Commission and require imprints for digital political adverts.“
Labour’s Manifesto then goes on to pledge:
“We will stop MPs from taking paid second jobs, with limited exemptions to maintain professional registrations like nursing.”
In 2015, the Conservative Party were widely criticised after voting down a Labour motion to ban MPs from taking paid second jobs.
Labour’s 2015 motion was designed to “restore public trust” in democracy after the cash for access scandal.
The cash for access scandal exposed several high-profile MPs attempting to use their positions to influence law-making decisions that would benefit the companies who paid them money.
In addition, a large proportion of MPs still hold legitimate, but highly controversial, paid positions – with some, such as Tory Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, holding more than one extra paid job.
Rees-Mogg earns around £15k every month for 30 hours work as a partner at Somerset Capital Management.
In addition, the Tory Minister earns hundreds of pounds an hour writing for the Telegraph and The S*n newspapers, and raked in over £10k for hosting a show on the LBC radio station.
These payments are in addition to pocketing £79,468 as an MP and £70,137 for being a Cabinet Minister – a total annual Parliamentary salary of £149,605.
Rees-Mogg is estimated to have amassed a fortune of around £55m in total.
When MPs are not sitting in Parliament, they are expected to carry out regular local surgeries to deal with serious issues raised by their constituents, among many other duties.
However, much of the general public feel that MPs who take on extra employment often neglect their local duties – especially in historically safe seats.
You can find out whether your local MP has a second job in the official Parliamentary Register of Interest.