“Is it going be that you can do whatever KeirStarmer does?” Jacob Rees Mogg attacks Labour’s plans to clamp down on MPs who hold second jobs. He says that ‘drawing lines’ is extremely difficult and voters need politicians with ‘experience’.

  • Labour wants to prohibit MPs holding directorships or consultancies that are paid.
  • Jacob Rees Mogg asks where to draw the line on second jobs
  • According to the Commons Leader, ‘drawing lines on an issue is extraordinarily difficult.
  • Boris Johnson stated that the primary job of MPs was to serve constituencies. 

Jacob Rees Mogg attacked Labour’s plan to clamp down on MPs with second jobs today, saying that ‘drawing lines on what is acceptable and unacceptable’ is ‘extraordinarily hard’. 

Labour leader Sir KeirStarmer plans to get a vote to the House of Commons to block MPs being paid directors and consultancies. 

But Mr Rees-Mogg questioned how Labour intends to determine which roles should and should not be allowed as he jibed: ‘Is it going to be you can do whatever Keir Starmer does but you can’t do any more?’ 

Sir Keir has been pushing this issue after the Westminster sleaze scam, triggered in part by Owen Paterson’s lobbying row. This scandal has directly impacted the Conservatives over the past few weeks. 

Labour’s leader, John McDonnell, stated that it was important to reach a consensus on the fact that MPs shouldn’t be lobbying for paid directorsships or commercial consultancies. 

Downing Street insists today that Boris Johnson thinks the MPs’ primary task’must have been to serve their constituents’. 

Jacob Rees-Mogg today slammed Labour's plans to crackdown on MPs holding second jobs as he said 'drawing lines' on what is and is not acceptable is 'extraordinarily difficult'

Jacob Rees Mogg attacked Labour’s plan to clampdown on MPs with second jobs today, saying that ‘drawing lines on what is acceptable and unacceptable is extremely difficult’

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is planning to force a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday to try to ban MPs from holding paid directorships and commercial consultancies

Labour leader Sir Keir Sterner plans to hold a vote at the House of Commons Wednesday in an attempt to prohibit MPs holding directorships or commercial consulting positions.

Mr Paterson was found by a standards watchdog to have committed an ‘egregious’ breach of standards rules by directly advocating for two companies while they were paying him more than £100,000 per year.

His recommended suspension of Parliament for 30 days was blocked by the Government. After fierce backlash, Paterson made a U-turn and resigned as Tory North Shropshire MP. 

Labour plans to take part in an Opposition Day discussion in the Commons Wednesday in order to vote against paid directorships in Parliament and for commercial consultants. 

But Mr Rees-Mogg has questioned the viability of Labour’s proposals, telling the Conservative Home Moggcast podcast: ‘Where do you draw the line? Here’s a concrete example. I am a trustee of the Oxford Union Literary and Debating Trust which is the parent charity of the Oxford Union Society, Oxford’s debating organisation.

‘It promotes free speech, it supports a very good, active charitable educational objective.

‘It takes up a small amount of time each year, it is unpaid. Are MPs allowed to serve as trustees for charities? I believe most people would agree that it is a reasonable position for them to take on.

‘But what if they are involved with a charity that is a little bit more work and they actually get paid for it? They should be involved?

‘If you say yes, they should be involved in that, can they be doctors? And if you say well yes they can be doctors… are they then allowed to be involved in the pharmaceutical industry?

‘Say they have been helpful in developing drugs, have a great deal of knowledge about how drugs are developed and carry on involvement with potentially a start up company that is developing drugs that they may have founded, should they be allowed to continue with that?’

The Cabinet minister said a key question is whether it is ‘useful for a member of Parliament to know about different areas and different activities’. 

He continued: ‘And if you can’t draw the line other than you shouldn’t do paid lobbying, how will we decide Labour’s motion?

‘Is it going to be you can do whatever Keir Starmer does but you can’t do any more? What is their proposal?

Downing Street today insisted that Boris Johnson believes the 'primary job' of MPs 'must be to serve their constituencies'

Downing Street insists today that Boris Johnson thinks the MP’s primary task’must have been to serve their constituents’

‘So I think drawing lines is extraordinarily difficult and what do voters want? Well they want MPs with experience who contribute.’ 

According to Mr Rees Mogg, the rules for paid lobbying were’really simple and very important’. However, it was ‘a complex question in terms of external interests’. 

He made his comments as Number 10, which said that it would wait for the exact words of Labour’s proposals before commenting.      

Asked what the PM’s view is on MPs holding consultancies and directorships, his spokesman said: ‘I think the Prime Minister has given his view that an MP’s primary job is and must be to serve their constituencies and represent their interests in Parliament.

‘They should be visible in their constituencies and available to help their constituents with any matters of concern.’