MPs should “focus on serving their constituency” rather than on second jobs, Rishi Sunak’s official spokesperson has said, in reaction to reports from Sky News.

Research by our Westminster Accounts project today revealed MPs earned an average £233 per hour for roles outside of parliament – 17 times higher than the national average and over 22 times more than the hourly minimum wage.

The data also showed MPs had spent almost 89,000 hours carrying out the work since the start of the parliament in 2019.

All of this falls within the currents rules, as long as MPs declare who they worked for, for how long, and how much they were paid.

Politics live: Truss paid £15,770 an hour for second jobs

Asked about the findings, the prime minister’s spokesman said an MP’s “primary focus must always be on serving their constituency”, and that it would be their voters who “decide if they’ve done a good enough job” as their representative in Westminster.

But they failed to commit to any changes to the rules that allow additional work to take place.

Earlier, the SNP’s former Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said there was a “legitimate debate” to be had about MPs’ outside earnings.

Mr Blackford – who earned over £38,000 for 31 hours work over the past four years – told Sky News it was “important the public can have trust in those they send to parliament” and people were “rightly appalled” by some of the “eye watering” sums being paid to MPs.

He pointed to former primes ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson – with the former being paid the equivalent of £20,000 per hour for her speech in Taiwan and the latter receiving £21,822 per hour when all his outside work was taken into account.

The SNP MP added: “Being an MP is a very important job, it is a full-time job. Of course, at the end of the day you are accountable to your electorate when you stand in front of them at the next election. I think most MPs do work very hard, it is an all-consuming job.

“But absolutely, let’s make sure that there is full transparency on this, that people are not abusing the privileges that are put in them as members of parliament.”

Read more from Sky News:
Westminster Accounts – the story so far
Keegan: Headteachers should pick up absent pupils from home
Liz Truss hints her disastrous mini-budget would have worked out

However, Tory MP and chair of the health select committee, Steve Brine, accused Westminster Accounts of “smearing” politicians.

Mr Brine, who has worked 497 hours in second jobs this parliament on an average of £200 per hour, told Sky News: “I’m focused on my constituents, I focus on chairing my select committee and I always have [been].

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brine accused Westminster Accounts of ‘smearing’

“I think you should be very careful about smearing MPs and making out that MPs are not focusing on their jobs – 99.9% of MPs I’ve met in Westminster are focused on doing their job and doing the right thing.

“Be very careful before you run our profession into the ground.”

Responding to our research, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan – who hasn’t earned any money from second jobs – told Sky News the figures were down to “just a small number of people” who were “getting paid an awful lot” for speeches.


Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

The Best New Book Releases Out September 19, 2023
Rate of inflation eases slightly to 6.7% despite oil prices surging
Samsung Galaxy A05 Design, Colour Options Leaked; Could Come in Three Colourways
Financially Motivated UNC3944 Threat Actor Shifts Focus to Ransomware Attacks
Levar Burton Will Lead Banned Books Week as Its Honorary Chair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *