BBC Question Time: Alastair Campbell slammed over Labour Party’s second job stance

Question Time: Second jobs is ‘cross-party problem’ says expert

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The former Labour communication chief clashed with Mr Newton Dunn, who told BBC Question Time that the issue of MPs taking second jobs was “a cross-party problem, across politics.” The political commentator argued that the issue of MPs taking on separate jobs is bigger than just the Conservative Party. He went on to point to the fact former Labour leader Ed Miliband had taken steps to end the taking of consultancies by Labour MPs only for the current leader, Keir Starmer, to go on and accept a legal job in 2015. 

“Tiny bit of context on this despite Alastair’s excellent soapbox attack on Boris Johnson which I predicted you would do on the train and he’s done it.

“This is wider than the Conservative Party, Ed Miliband, Labour leader until 2015 had in his manifesto, a ban on consultancies the thing we’re talking about now.

“And guess what there was a Labour MP elected in 2015 called Keir Starmer on that manifesto to ban consultancies.

“Guess what Keir Starmer did in 2015, he took a legal consultancy, he advised the Government of Gibraltar and they paid him some £9000.

JUST IN: BBC QT audience member slams MPs over ‘topping up’ on second jobs

“So fine the music has stopped on the Tories’ watch and Boris Johnson made an astronomical mess of it last week.

“But this is a cross-party problem across politics and not anyone on this panel should stand up with a huge amount of pride on what their party has done over the last few years.”

Labour has said Tory MPs are raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultancy fees as it sought to keep up the pressure on Boris Johnson over Westminster “sleaze”.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party chairwoman, said it showed there was “something rotten” at the heart of the Tory Party.

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Ms Dodds said: “There is something rotten at the heart of Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party if one in seven of his MPs is taking money from outside interests.

“The Prime Minister needs to show leadership, heed Labour’s call to ban MPs from having paid directorships and consultancy roles, and put an end to Tory sleaze.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned MPs they must obey Westminster rules regulating their outside interests if they want to continue taking second jobs.

He said that those who failed to do so should be “punished”.

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The Prime Minister’s warning came as the former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox said he did not believe he had breached rules which ban MPs from using their parliamentary offices for outside business.

Labour has referred Sir Geoffrey to the Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone after a video emerged of him apparently taking part in legal proceedings in the British Virgin Islands remotely from his office in Westminster.

Ms Dodds said that Labour’s analysis showed 50 Tory backbenchers and former ministers had been paid by management or consultancy firms.

There is no suggestion that any of the MPs concerned broke any parliamentary rules in doing so.

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