DOWNING Street’s plans to crack down on MPs earning megabucks from side jobs have been quietly abandoned by ministers.
And Cabinet ministers had suggested they would support new caps on the number of hours a politician could work in his second career.
But in a stunning about-face, No10 now says it is “impractical” to limit how much MPs can work or earn on the side.
In response to a consultation on MPs and outside work, No 10 said: “The Government’s initial view is that imposing hard restrictions such as time limits on the time MPs can devote to outside work would be impractical.”
It went on to say that an earnings cap “could be used to prohibit activities that do not unduly influence the political system.”
The Prime Minister’s spokesman added: “It is not necessarily the issue of time spent that determines acceptance of external interest, it is what best serves voters’ needs and that may vary.
“For example, time limits on MPs’ external interests may discourage MPs with professional service needs, such as doctors or nurses.
“Setting income limits from outside interests could prevent MPs from engaging in activities that can enhance their ability to engage with the public.”
Labor frontbencher Thangam Debbonaire lashed out at the PM over the U-turn.
She fumed, “He can’t backtrack on his promises to tighten the rules on part-time jobs just because he’s in trouble with his backbenchers.”
The thorny issue of MPs and their second jobs was brought into the spotlight last year when then-Tory MP Owen Paterson was suspended from Parliament for 30 days for breaking lobbying rules.
Mr Johnson tried to salvage his old pal’s political career by backing reforms that would have ripped up his suspension.
But the move was a massive misjudgment that sparked a furious Tory revolt and plunged the Prime Minister’s own political career into a crisis.
He was forced to reverse his opposition and Mr Paterson left politics soon after.
The whole story sparked calls for a crackdown on all politicians who have part-time jobs.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17987601/mps-second-jobs-ditched-ministers/ Downing Street plans to crack down on MPs making megabucks from second jobs that are being quietly given up