Boris Johnson’s attempt to reduce second jobs for MPs could have an impact of less than 10, it turned out last night.

Yesterday, MPs backed the Prime Minister’s plans to restrict outside work to ‘reasonable limits’ and ban parliamentary advice or consultancy by 297 votes to zero.

Downing Street sources insist it’s impossible to predict how many MPs will be affected, as the Committee on Standards is responsible for drafting them. 

However, a Guardian analysis of the Register of Interests suggests that what is known of the proposed rule changes could still leave many MPs earning high wages for very few hours’ work. 

Yesterday, Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan suggested that changes might limit paid work outside of the workplace to less than 20 hours per week or lower than 10-15 hours per week or as low as eight hours per week.

However, according to the Guardian, a 20-hour weekly limit would only cover Sir Geoffrey Cox, the former Attorney General who earns huge sums through  legal work spanning more than 1,000 hours a year.

Such a limit would theoretically let Sir Geoffrey cut back his hours and retain his main outside work for the British Virgin Islands, for which he is paid £400,000 a year for 40 hours a month. 

And Owen Paterson, who resigned after he was found to have breached lobbying rules by being paid more than £100,000 a year for less than five hours a week, might not have been covered by the ban.   

Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons

Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons

Owen Paterson

Sir Geoffrey Cox

Only Sir Geoffrey Cox (right) would have to be restricted from working 20 hours per week. His legal work, which spans over 1,000 hours each year, is worth huge sums. Such a limit could let Sir Geoffrey cut back his hours and retain his main outside work for the British Virgin Islands, for which he is paid £400,000 a year for 40 hours a month. The ban might have not covered Owen Paterson, the disgraced lobbyist who quit for violating pay lobbying rules.

The PM’s adviser intervened to make the Minister’s apology for his insincere behavior towards standards watchdog.  

Kwasi Kwarteng accepted apologies for suggesting that Commons standards commissioner quit. This was after intervention from ministerial watchdog.

Boris Johnson said his ‘collaboration’ with the adviser on ministerial interests Lord Geidt sparked the Business Secretary’s letter saying sorry for his remarks.

These comments were made by the PM as he gave evidence before the Liaison Committee comprised of chairmen from all parties. 

Johnson refused to allow Lord Geidt’s investigation into ministers to proceed without his permission.

However, he stressed that his peer was having an effect by referring back to Mr Kwarteng’s part in last week’s humble apology. 

He said, “The letter’s creation was a collaborative effort between myself and Lord Geidt.” 

He suggested to the Parliamentary Commission for Standards that she reconsider her position following the Owen Paterson row. This was heavily criticised by Mr Kwarteng.

It was Ms Stone’s investigation that found the then-Tory MP breached the Commons code of conduct by lobbying ministers and officials for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.


The Conservative MP Dan Poulter (a doctor) and Tory Andrew Murrison (a navy reserve surgeon), might be subject to a 15-hour weekly limit. 

The Guardian reported a 10-hour limit would include former minister John Redwood, who has been working 12.5 hours a week as chair of the Investment Committee of Charles Stanley, earning £48,222 a quarter. 

Just two Tories in 48 MPs with consultancy jobs directly fitted the description of parliamentary adviser because the proposed ban on MPs being parliamentary advisers is so narrowly worded.

According to the Register of Interests, Tory MP Philip Davies is listed as a parliamentary adviser on pawnbroking to the National Pawnbroking Association, earning £1,000 a month for five to 10 hours.

Conservative MP Laurence Robertson is also a parliamentary adviser on sport and safer gambling to the Betting and Gaming Council, and is paid £2,000 a month for 10 hours a month. 

It comes as the Prime Minister admitted that he ‘crashed the car into a ditch’ while trying to defend lobbying sleaze shame MP Owen Paterson as he faced furious Tory MPs at the end of a bruising day. 

Last night, Johnson met the 1922 Committee of backbenchers after an intense PMQs session and a difficult few weeks for his party in relation to his efforts to revise Parliament’s anticorruption rules. 

After Mr Paterson broke the standards to advocate for a company paying him six figures, he has promised to put an end to the chaos and ban MPs working side by side as consultants.

Johnson suggested that MPs be limited in the amount of time they can spend on second jobs. Both changes could potentially cost dozens of backbenchers substantial sums.

Later, he voted against a Labour motion that would have banned ‘any paid work for the provision of services as a parliamentary strategist or adviser or consultant. A majority of 51 voted against the change, with 282 votes voting for 231. 

Labour’s plan to restrict their business interests outside of the UK was rejected by MPs. This has led to tensions between Boris Johnson (Tory backbencher) and Boris Johnson.

Labour’s proposal called for an end to ‘any paid work providing services as a parlamentar strategist, advisor or consultant’.

It also contained provisions that required the Commons Standards Committee (CSC) to submit proposals for implementing the ban, and guaranteed time on the House floor to allow MPs to discuss and vote.

The Government Amendment, which was more specific in its language, simply defined the ban on consultancy as “the basis for a viable approach” and supported the efforts of the Standards Committee.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons

Boris squabbles with Starmer and Speaker during a bad-tempered PMQs session 

Boris Johnson was today brutally rebuked by the Speaker as he tried to turn the tables on Keir Starmer during a fiery PMQs sessions.

As the Labour leader and the premier clashed during the weekly session, the premier tried repeatedly to quiz him about past legal work. 

Lindsay Hoyle demanded his resignation, insisting that it were questions directed at the Prime Minister not to the Opposition leader. Sir Lindsay stated, “You may be the PM in this country, but in this House you’re in charge.”

Sir Lindsay cautioned that the House was not being restored to its former image following the Owen Paterson disaster earlier in the month.  

It appeared that there were fewer Conservative MPs cheering on Mr Johnson in the chamber today than during recent weeks.   

After Mr Johnson asked Sir Keir about Mishcon deReya links, the weekly exchanges got sour.

Sir Lindsay told Mr Johnson: ‘I don’t want to fall out about it, I’ve made it very clear – it is Prime Minister’s Questions, it’s not for the Opposition to answer your questions.

“Whether or not we want it, those are the rules. We all play the game and follow the rules. We respect this House. Let’s show respect for it.

The Speaker responded to Mr Johnson’s attempt to ask about this issue again in an exchange later. You may be Prime Minister in this country, but I am the one in charge in this House.

Later, Mr Johnson accused Sir Keir’s ‘Mish conduct’. This prompted Labour benches to call for the comment’s retraction.

According to the Speaker, “I don’t believe that this House has been helped by this.” It’s unprofessional, it was ill-tempered. I believe it shows that the House still hasn’t learned from last week. I want this House to have respect, but respect must come first.

Despite all the rolling for Mr Johnson’s name, Sir Keir was not allowed to leave the room for his remarks about the PM being a coward.

Sir Keir stated that Johnson had not apologized for the way he handled Paterson’s case. He won’t apologize for the actions of others, even though everyone else has. “A coward, not a leader.” 

Sir Lindsay responded to a question of procedure, saying that the jibe wasn’t the right kind of language for the Commons. 

Sir Keir rose to his feet and declared: “I withdraw it. He is not a leader. 

Labour’s motion was defeated by 282 votes against 231, major 51. The Government’s standard amendment was passed by 297 votes, majority 297.

No Labour MPs backed the amendment, but the division list showed four Conservative MPs rebelled to support Labour’s motion – Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Nigel Mills (Amber Valley), and Dan Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich).

Following the vote Sir Keir starmer from Labour said, “We have a plan for action to clean-up politics and improve standards in politics.”

“And, you can believe that, after two weeks worth of Tory corruption and sleaze, the Prime Minister whip his MPs in support of this plan of action. And, honestly, he doesn’t get it.”

Sir Keir stated that he would not back down on his proposals and was not willing to compromise them. He also said, “We will not let them down. We aren’t going to stop making them, but we won’t allow them to be watered down.” It is amazing.

The Government has proposed that rules be amended to reflect two of the key recommendations in the Committee on Standards in Public Life report on MPs’ Outside Interests from 2018, as set forth in a letter addressed to Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

This includes changing the code to ensure that outside work is within reasonable limits and does not hinder them from fulfilling their duties fully.

Failure to conform should be investigated and punished.

Changes would also prevent MPs accepting work as a parliamentary strategist or adviser, consultant or advisor, nor from accepting any payment or offer of employment as political consultants.

According to a spokesperson from the Government, “The House of Commons voted tonight to revise the Code of Conduct for Members.”

“This ban will mean that no MPs can act as lobbyists or paid consultants to the political process and that all MPs must prioritise their constituents.

“This will improve our system of parliamentary representation and we will collaborate with other parties to do this.

Chris Bryant from Labour, chairman of the Committee on Standards replied on Twitter to the statement, saying, ‘Except that it doesn’t mean that. “We haven’t made any changes yet.

Bryant stated that he would like to prepare a final report about the proposed changes for the Commons to present in the early part of 2022.

He stated that any changes to the code would require the Government’s to present the motions necessary and to allow for debate in the House.

Tensions between Tory MPs will only increase with these changes

Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brownn was treasurer of 1922 Committee and stated that the Tory ranks were dissatisfied with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Johnny Mercer, a former minister said to GB News: ‘There is serious problem in the quality and current state of politics.

Plymouth Moor View Tory MP, who is outspoken about the Government after losing his position as veterans minister, said that he has ‘no relation’ to Mr Johnson, even though he initially supported him as leader.

Sir Keir stated: “I was really struck at how many Tory MPs have lost faith in the Prime Minister.

“It was evident at Prime Minister’s Questions today, that their benches had many gaps. Many MPs weren’t there to support him.

However, Mr Johnson was greeted at the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs on Wednesday evening, prior to the vote, to loud banging on the tables in approval.

In the story about former Tory MP, Mr Paterson who was later found to have violated lobbying rules, it was claimed that he said to MPs “on a clear roadway I crashed my car into a ditch”.

Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks during Prime Minister's Questions

Prime Minister’s Questions: Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House

One backbencher stated that most of the questions raised at the meeting revolved around the topic of small boats, and immigration.

Wednesday morning, Johnson revealed that his initial attempt to keep Mr Paterson out of immediate suspension so that he could review the case and initiate disciplinary proceedings was an error.

Johnson explained to the Liaison Committee that while he was not trying to excuse anyone, his intention was to find a way to make the system more efficient on a cross party basis.

“In retrospect, it was clearly and obviously wrong to believe we could combine the two. Do I regret this decision?”

“Yes, I do.

After the government abandoned their attempt to protect him from immediate sanctions, Mr Paterson resigned as an MP and opted not to face a vote about his suspension.

He also stated that he wants to see a cross-party solution to Westminster’s sleaze row. However, he became involved with Sir Keir in the spiky Commons discussions during PMQs to discuss his outside earnings from being a lawyer before assuming Labour leadership.

He repeatedly told Mr Johnson that he should stop asking Sir Keir queries. The Speaker added: “I need respect from this House, but respect starts with individuals being respectful of each other.”