MPs are permitted to have a second job alongside serving their constituents as long as they are not a Government minister or have conflicting interests. MPs are required to declare any earnings they make outside of Parliament. Over the last three years, more than £17million has been earnt in second jobs, according to the Westminster Accounts tool. A new Express.co.uk poll has found a staggering 88 percent think that second jobs should be banned.
As of last December, 43 percent of Tory MPs (154 out of 356) worked second jobs. Analysis by openDemocracy also found that 38 percent of Labour MPs (76 out of 196) and 34 percent of SNP MPs (15 out of 44) have declared secondary income. In addition, eight out of 14 Liberal Democrats MPs and three out of eight DUP MPs worked second jobs.
Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy earnt £243,800 since the start of the current Parliament in December 2019, in addition to his annual MP salary. He said he would support a review into MPs having second jobs, telling Sky News: “If Parliament determines that – no second jobs at all – we can’t have people who are doctors – can’t have people who are lawyers – one job only, being an MP – then I will have to live with that like everybody else.”
READ MORE: Lammy calls for MPs second jobs to be reviewed despite £200k income
In a poll that ran from 4pm on Tuesday, April 4, to 3.30pm on Thursday, April 13, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should MPs be banned from having a second job?”
Overall, 2,401 readers responded, with the vast majority, 88 percent (2,120 people) answering, “yes”, second jobs should be banned, while 11 percent (264 people) said, “no”. A further one percent (17 people) said they did not know either way.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers debated MPs having secondary income and careers.
The overwhelming argument was against MPs having a second job, with username Brian at home commenting: “Being an MP is supposed to be a full-time job, if you have time to do other paid work you are not doing the job that the country pays you to do fully.”
Similarly, username criticalthoughts said: “No second jobs. They are paid to do a full-time job in Parliament for their constituents.”
Username fredegar wrote: “A second job can only distract, if they want more than one job then they shouldn’t stand as an MP.”
Another, username oldscunner, added: “Didn’t realise being an MP was a part-time job.”
However, a minority thought that MPs should be allowed second jobs. Username Dhar said: “They can have as many jobs as they want, providing they pay the tax man and it doesn’t affect their constituents.”