‘Don’t know where people find the time!’ Labour MP calls out politicians over second jobs

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

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The televised debate – aired on 10.35pm on BBC One – included Employment Minister Mims Davies and Labour MP Stella Creasy. The panel also featured Jordan Peterson, former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal and SNP business spokesperson Stephen Flynn MP.

Labour’s Stella Creasy discussed the issue of MPs having second jobs while noting that the job of MPs still has major barriers for working mothers.

Ms Creasy, MP for Walthamstow in London, previously served as the Shadow minister for business and crime prevention.

The Labour MP said: “We know when the fish rots from the head we’re all covered by the stench.

“We talk about trust in politics – right now only 15 percent of people trust politicians.

The frustrating thing for me is I don’t think MPs should have second jobs, I don’t know where people would find the time for goodness sake.

She added: “In the last month alone, I have just had a baby, I’ve got no maternity cover as an MP, I’m trying to work, I’ve got 3,000 emails and requests from my local community.

“I’ve been trying to deal with all of them. So where do people find all these extra hours?

“One of the things that really worries me about all of this is what Owen Paterson did, the original thing that brought this up, it has been illegal since the sixteen hundreds, it wasn’t about whether you have a second job or not. It’s about a conflict of interest.”

Owen Paterson was found to have committed an “egregious” breach of lobbying rules on behalf of Randox and Lynn’s Country Foods — two companies for which he was acting as a consultant, getting paid more than £100,000 a year — by the cross-party Standards Committee.

Mr Paterson, 65, said in a statement he now wanted a life “outside the cruel world of politics”, although he “will remain a public servant”.

He claims he is “totally innocent”, saying: “I acted at all times in the interests of public health and safety.

“I, my family and those closest to me know the same. I am unable to clear my name under the current system.”

The Commons Standards Committee concluded last week, following a report on his behaviour by standards commissioner Kathryn Stone, Mr Paterson had misused his position as an MP to benefit from the two firms he consulted.

He subsequently stood down as an MP due to the lobbying scandal.

Also during the BBC programme, Lawyer Nazir Afzal said: “I don’t mind them having second jobs as long as it’s stacking the empty shelves in supermarkets, HGV lorries or picking fruit because then they will understand the consequences of their decisions.

“I also think that if you work in the public service – doctor, nurse, social worker, that kind of thing – there’s some value in doing that.”

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Fiona Bruce will be heading to Cardiff for next week’s Question Time.

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