The Conservative Party has been under investigation since Owen Paterson broke MP rules by promoting companies that were paying him. Now, new data suggests the majority of Britons think MPs should not be allowed additional jobs.
In a poll of 4,845 people, held from November 9 to 15, 79 percent of voters said MPs should not be allowed additional jobs on top of their MP salary of £81,932.
One voter, Tenjie, said: “MPs know exactly what the wage will be when they stand for election – £82,000 plus expenses is not bad.
“If they are not happy with the pay packet then they shouldn’t stand for election, or they should resign and find themselves a better-paid job. Meanwhile they should do what they’re paid to do and look after their constituents.”
Many voters argued that being an MP for thousands of constituents should be a full-time job, and second jobs should not be allowed because they distract politicians from the work they have been elected to do.
Express reader Bors said: “If you don’t want to give your full time to the people then don’t become an MP. Anyone who has two jobs now kick them out!”
Geoffrey Cox, a Tory MP who was attorney general during the height of the Brexit negotiations, has registered a total of £970,000 income in the last year, for 705 hours of legal services.
That makes up almost half of the working hours a full-time person would work in a year – hours that many have argued should be spent listening to constituents’ issues.
However, some MPs argue that second jobs help them to get closer to their community.
A number of MPs are employed as doctors and nurses and have continued to work on the NHS front line during the pandemic.
In another vote, asking 3,900 readers how much extra income should be capped by, 48.4 percent said income should be limited to £25,000.
In contrast, MP for North Shropshire Owen Paterson was receiving £100,000 per year from Randox and £12,000 per year from Lynn’s Country Foods – both of which he lobbied for in Whitehall on multiple occasions.
He was ordered to a 30-day suspension from the Commons by the Commons Standards Committee, which Boris Johnson attempted to override by calling for a vote on dissolving the Committee’s powers.
The Lib Dems called for an investigation into whether Mr Johnson properly declared his spending on the re-decoration of his Downing Street flat, and the funding for his recent Spanish holiday – paid for by another MP.
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Now, Jacob Rees-Mogg has been called into question by Labour for failure to declare £6million in loans that he borrowed from one of his companies.
Mr Rees-Mogg did not report to the official register that he received director’s loans from Saliston between 2018 and 2020.
Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the Commons, said: “This would appear to be yet another egregious breach of the rules.
“A cabinet minister failing to declare millions of pounds of additional income is unacceptable.
“The parliamentary commissioner for standards must investigate this.
“Jacob Rees-Mogg must come clean about all of his financial interests outside of parliament.”
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In response, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The loans from 2018 were primarily taken out for the purchase and refurbishment of [my home] as temporary cashflow measures.
“All loans have either been repaid with interest in accordance with HMRC rules or paid as dividends and taxed accordingly.”
His net worth is estimated at £150million.
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