Written evidence from Michael Beal (PGG02)
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
There is a very simple starting point to prevent the accusation of MPs and cronyism. An MP should be banned from taking any other paid employment, consultation fees or any financial remuneration for any task outside of Parliament. Many other people would like to have the time to be a paid member of a company board or to be a consultant but their job is full time. If MPs have time to carry out the tasks of consultancy, lobbyist, board member or other financially beneficial task then this must be evidence that being an MP is not a full-time job. I am confident that this will be contested by the majority of MPs but the evidence speaks for itself. I find it even more amazing that senior government ministers and secretaries of state, including the Prime Minister have the time for these exterior, extra-curricular activities. This solution is quick and simple to administer. The nest lining for future income is laid when Cabinet members are in post and it would appear that many walk straight into well paid employment when they leave Parliament with the contacts they have made while in post.