Watchdog to consider ‘reasonable limit’ for MPs’ outside interests in wake of former chancellor joining Evening Standard.
A Whitehall sleaze watchdog is to review its guidance on MPs’ second jobs in the wake of the appointment of former chancellor George Osborne as editor of the Evening Standard.
However, the chairman of the committee on standards in public life insisted the review was not prompted solely by the Osborne case, saying it had been under consideration for some time.
Lord Bew said the committee wanted to look again at its 2009 guidance that second jobs were acceptable so long as voters were informed about them at the time of the election. He said it would consider what was the “reasonable limit” that could be applied to the extent of MPs’ outside interests.
Inviting submissions from the public, Bew said: “We will make a further submission on reasonable limits’ for outside interests to the Commons committee on standards’ ongoing inquiry into the code of conduct for MPs. We will be holding a short review to inform our submission.
“It is for the advisory committee on business appointments, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, and the House of Commons committee on standards to rule on individual cases.”
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether his committee was acting in response to Osborne’s appointment, Bew said: “We have been paying attention to this for some time and the issue is the important thing for us, rather than any individual case.