The measure, which Ed Miliband confirms today will be included in the Labour party’s manifesto, would ensure no Labour MP holds a paid directorship or consultancy. Labour is also consulting on legislative measures including placing a strict cap – similar to one that exists for members of the US Congress - on any additional money they can earn beyond their salary as representatives of the people.
Ed Miliband’s decision to act follow a series of allegations over recent years about how MPs from both sides of the House of Commons have risked a conflict of interest by seeking or taking paid work from outside organisations. In his letter to David Cameron, Ed Miliband recognises that problems of trust in politics go across party lines and the issue of second jobs has damaged the reputation of Parliament as a whole over the past two decades.
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, writing to David Cameron today said:
Dear Prime Minister,
I write this letter to you not just as leader of the Labour Party but as someone who believes that we all need to act to improve the reputation of our Parliament in the eyes of the British people.
I believe MPs are dedicated to the service of their constituents and the overwhelming majority follow the rules. But the British people need to know that when they vote they are electing someone who will represent them directly, and not be swayed by what they may owe to the interests of others.
Two years ago I said Labour MPs would not be able to hold paid directorships or consultancies after the next election.
My party is also consulting on legislation to make this a statutory ban, as well as imposing a strict cap on all outside earnings by MPs.
Today I can confirm that these measures will be included in my party’s General Election manifesto.
The low levels of trust in politics demands clarity and I urge you to follow my lead in banning paid directorships and consultancies.
There have been too many scandals about conflicts of interest in recent years. It is time to draw a line under this and ensure these current allegations are the last.
I am sure you will agree this is a problem which affects all parties. I believe these are circumstances which demand action and leadership. I look forward to receiving your response.