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Andrew Rosindell urges caution over ban on MPs’ second jobs

Andrew Rosindell opposed plans to prevent MPs from having second jobs on Newsnight yesterday (Credit: BBC Newsnight)

The MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, has urged the government to be “cautious” over plans to stop MPs from having second jobs. 

Boris Johnson announced they could be banned from working as political consultants yesterday while Labour wants almost all second jobs to be prohibited. 

Mr Rosindell appeared on Newsnight to defend his colleagues who have outside work and claimed they would have to change their lifestyles if the proposals went ahead.

“We have to be careful about this, we have to realise we are dealing with human beings who have families and responsibilities,” said Mr Rosindell. 

“Whilst, as I have said before, the first duty must be to Parliament, to the constituency and to the work we do for our country, any changes I think should be evolutionary.” 

The Romford MP has been criticised on social media for not expressing the same level of sympathy towards people on Universal Credit when the government cut the £20 a week uplift.

Speaking on Politics Live in July, he said: “I think there are people that quite like getting the extra £20 but maybe they don’t need it.” 

A spokesperson for Mr Rosindell has responded to the criticism: “Andrew was clear in his interview on Newsnight that he is in favour of evolutionary change to ensure that all MPs are as committed to their constituencies as he is to Romford.

“What he doesn’t want to see is MPs forced to give up second jobs if these second jobs genuinely enhance their abilities as a Parliamentarian. He wants lawyers, businesspeople, doctors, nurses and so on in Westminster, not just career politicians.”

MPs are paid just under £82,000 a year while the average worker in the UK earns slightly more than £31,000. 

A row has engulfed Parliament after it was revealed Conservative MP Owen Paterson was paid £8,333 for 16 hours of work a month by Randox. Lynn’s Country Foods also paid him £2,000 every other month for four hours of work.

Mr Paterson was found to have broken lobbying rules and was set to be suspended for 30 days until the government attempted to overhaul the disciplinary process instead. 

The government was forced to reverse its position following a backlash from some MPs and Mr Paterson stood down. 

Boris Johnson has apologised today for conflating Mr Paterson’s case with plans to change the disciplinary system.

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