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Overhaul of MP bashing rules unveiled – would force Boris Johnson to declare cost of vacation




Sordid rule shake signals another crackdown on second jobs, following revelations former attorney general Geoffrey Cox pocketed £ 1million a year as a QC, on top of being an MP


Image: Mirrorpix)

Boris Johnson would be forced to declare the value of his free Spanish vacation as part of a planned shake-up of the sordid rules unveiled today.

The Prime Minister recorded the retirement vacation of conservative millionaire Lord Zac Goldsmiths Marbella on a ministerial register – dodging the need to say how much it cost.

But the Standards Committee today proposed a redesign of the system, which means that the sunny break should also be on the MPs’ register, revealing its value.

One of the committee’s recommendations ends the exemption for ministers not to register gifts and hospitality they receive in their capacity as ministers with the Commons registry, so that all the outside interests of a deputy can be found in one place.

MPs would also be banned from providing paid parliamentary advice, advisory or policy services in connection with the planned crackdown.

And MPs could be investigated for launching “excessive” personal attacks online as part of the new reforms.

Boris Johnson stayed with his conservative friend Lord Zac Goldsmith in Marbella


Daily Mirror)

The Commons Standards Committee released its proposals following the Owen Paterson case.

The former Conservative minister – who has since left Parliament – abused his position to benefit two companies he worked for.

Boris Johnson’s botched attempt to defend him seriously undermined the Prime Minister’s authority – and fueled calls for a reshuffle.

The proposals include the introduction of a new requirement that an MP must have a written contract for any outside work that specifies that their duties cannot include lobbying ministers, MPs or public officials, or providing advice. on how to pressure or influence Parliament, and that their employer will give them a commitment not to ask them.

It also signals a further crackdown on second jobs, following revelations that former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox spent £ 1million a year as a QC, in addition to being an MP.

The committee fully supported in its report the principle that it would be totally inappropriate for a Member to accept paid employment which prevents him from fully performing his duties, he said.

The committee has raised questions about how this principle might be applied and is now seeking consultation responses on this matter.

And he announced that a “senior judicial figure” would be asked to consider whether the House’s current system for dealing with alleged violations of the MPs’ code of conduct is fair, following claims by former minister Owen Paterson according to him. which he was denied “natural justice” in the process.

The plans are subject to public consultation before the committee completes a final report with recommendations for the new year.

It came as Labor pledged to close the revolving door that allows ministers to cash in their positions after they leave government.

The silversmiths ranch in Marbella, Spain


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Explaining how the party plans to break Conservative sleaze, Deputy Leader Angela Rayner told a Whitehall think tank that an independent integrity and ethics commission was needed to replace the current alphabet soup of various committees and advisers.

He would have the power to question ministers, make decisions on sanctions for misconduct, and bar former ministers from employment related to their former role for at least five years after they leave.

Ms. Rayner told the Institute for Government: The current system is not working and it has failed.

It only works where the rules are followed and there are consequences to breaking them.

The Deputy Leader of the Labor Party denounced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said he had been investigated for breach of the rules “in all offices to which he was elected”.

She said Mr Johnson “will never act in his own best interest and never in the public interest”.

She added: “Boris Johnson’s corruption means that we now urgently need to restore confidence in our politics, in the civil service and in government as a force for good.

“It means rebuilding the regime that is not working.

“The British people deserve so much better than the corruption and failure of Boris Johnson.”

Ms Rayner said Labor’s call to overhaul the system governing the conduct of ministers came ahead of the release of the Standards Commission report, as the party’s proposal would also cover ministers and lords.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Carrie and their son Wilfred and the dog Dilyn during a stay in the Scottish Highlands


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Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the deputy head of Labor said: “The Standards Commission report that comes out today – I haven’t seen the content of it – but it’s around all the MPs.

“This integrity and ethics committee also surrounds ministers and lords. We have seen that ministers and lords have violated the ministerial code and the prime minister is vetoing it.

“This will be a fundamental change which means that the independent commission on integrity and ethics will have binding powers to sanction ministers who break the ministerial code.

“We think it’s really important to clean up the law because it’s only under this prime minister that we saw the code so blatantly ignored, and we can’t let these undermine public standards .

“People have to trust the ministers who are doing the job they are there for, and that is to protect the British electorate and protect our interests, not theirs.”

Standards Committee Chairman Chris Bryant said: “Over the past few weeks there have been a number of issues raised regarding MPs standards, but the major issue here is conflict of interest.

“The factual report published by my committee presents a set of reforms aimed at strengthening the rules on lobbying and conflicts of interest.

“These are not the final proposals that we are putting forward to the House. This report is the committee’s insight into the changes we need to strengthen the rules and address conflicts of interest as a result of a detailed evidence-based investigation.

“We will consult and hear broader views on what we released today before submitting a final report to the House for decision in the new year.

“If approved, these strong proposals will enable the standards system in Parliament to better hold rule-breaking MPs to account.”

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