Boris Johnson’s plan for “second jobs” would hit fewer than 10 MPs | Boris Johnson

Less than 10 MPs are likely to be affected by Boris Johnson’s proposed rule changes on second jobs, an analysis of the register of interests suggests.

On Wednesday MPs voted 297 against zero to support Downing Street plans to limit outside work to “reasonable limits” and ban parliamentary advice or counseling, with Labor abstaining. Final details are to be worked out by the cross-party standards committee.

But an analysis of what is known so far from the rule changes suggests that their impact on the 99 MPs holding second jobs could be severely limited, with only a handful of MPs affected.

On Wednesday, Cabinet Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, in a series of interviews, suggested that the changes could mean a limitation to paid outside work by limiting it to less than 20 hours a week, or under 10-15 hours a week, or just eight. hours a week.

A 20-hour weekly limit for outside work might only cover Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general who was under fire for lucrative legal work spanning more than 1,000 hours a year that involved his voting with a Caribbean prosecutor. Such a limit would theoretically allow Cox to reduce his hours and retain his main outside job for the British Virgin Islands, for which he is paid £ 400,000 a year for 40 hours a month.

Some parliamentarians who work as councilors or mayors could also be affected, as could ministers, unless there was an exemption for jobs that counted as political service.

A 15-hour weekly limit would also likely cover Dan Poulter, a Conservative MP who works as a doctor, and Andrew Murrison, a Conservative MP working as a naval reserve surgeon who helped with the coronavirus vaccination.

A 10-hour limit might drag on a number of additional MPs, including John Redwood, a former cabinet minister who worked about 12.5 hours a week as chairman of Charles Stanley’s investment committee, earning £ 48,222 a quarter.

Many MPs earn high salaries for a small number of hours, so it would be beyond the reach of the proposed changes. Julian Smith, the Conservative former head whip, earns £ 2,000 a month for just one or two hours of work advising on business development for Simply Blue Management.

The proposed ban on MPs being MPs appeared to be so narrowly worded that only two Conservatives in 48 MPs with council positions directly fit that description, according to the register of interests.

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, is listed as a parliamentary adviser on persistence to the National Pawnbroking Association, receiving £ 1,000 a month for five to 10 hours of work.

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

Only a few additional MPs mention policy in the description of the advice they offer as consultants. These include Stephen Hammond, a Conservative former transport minister who was a strategic advisor to Darwin Alternative Investments, earning £ 60,000 a year for providing policy advice on business and finance.

There is also a possibility that the work of James Gray, a Conservative MP, could be covered, as he records receiving £ 1,100 from Electric Airwaves to help train witnesses going before a parliamentary special committee hearing.

Most MPs working as consultants describe their work as consultants in general terms, offering “strategic advice” or business advice to private companies.

Downing Street sources insisted it was impossible to say how many MPs would be affected by the new rules, with the committee on standards in charge of drafting the changes.

But it appears that Owen Paterson, the former MP for North Shropshire who resigned for breaching paid lobbying rules, may not have been covered by the ban. He was described in the register as a consultant to Randox Laboratories, a clinical diagnosis firm, earning £ 100,000 a year, and as a consultant to Lynn’s Country Foods, a processor and distributor of sausages, earning £ 12,000 a year. Paterson did less than five hours a week in the workplace, so would presumably not have been affected by time limits.

There was much confusion among Conservative MPs as to whether their other jobs would be canceled under the proposals put forward by Johnson. One former minister said he put a few other roles “on ice” while he waited for clarity. He also criticized as “ridiculous” comments made by Trevelyan on Wednesday morning when she repeatedly proposed a different figure for the number of hours per week it was acceptable for MPs to spend on other work.

Labor said it would “properly ban” second jobs rather than accept what it called the “watered-down police exit” from the government’s approach.

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