Boris Johnson was facing another brutal day attempting to quell the sleaze crisis with Tories angry about his back of a fag packet crackdown on their outside earnings.
The Prime Minister desperately sought to draw a line under the chaos by promising to ban politicians from working as consultants on the side, something that costs dozens of his own backbencher’s significant sums.
In a major shift, Boris Johnson also suggested MPs should have limits placed on the time they spend on second careers.
The dramatic intervention was meant to outmanoeuvre Labour amid mounting fear that its strikes on the government over sleaze were hitting home.
But it promptly threatened to descend into a shambles, with Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan suggesting that twenty hours on a sideline was fine, and she said that’s two shifts, that would be 16 hours a week. Were they saying 10 to 20 hours a week outside their work as an MP and a parliamentarian? And that if that’s what they wanted to do, as their choice, then that was fine.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan also indicated that former attorney general Geoffrey Cox wouldn’t have to curb his £1 million a year legal practice under the mooted reforms, despite No 10 claiming he would, and she asked, was that he was doing a good job for his constituents? And, that from what she’d heard, no one’s stood up and said otherwise.
And she said that as he continues to practice what is his professional skill while he’s a backbench MP, for her, it was quite acceptable, in the same way, that Maria Caulfield works in the NHS as a nurse continues to practice her profession alongside serving her constituents is, she thought, essential for the NHS.
The proposals have teed up a major confrontation with some Tory MPs over whether and how the rules at Parliament should be improved, and there’s grumbling that many will fail to turn up for crunch votes on the changes.
One backbencher told a newspaper that Downing Street had dreamed up another unfavourable idea that looked clever at first glance but wouldn’t stand up to any scrutiny.
They said that they believed it had been put together on the back of a fag packet and it was the same error they’d made over Owen Paterson.
If MPs want to do other work they should quit and call a by-election because MPs should only have one master, the people, and it looks like Tories and sleaze go together like bread and butter.
I realise that some MPs want to do another job, but unless it’s something beneficial to the country, such as a few stints in A&E as a porter, all second jobs should be forbidden.
These MPs need to live in the real world, working at something like being a shopkeeper, a hospital worker or driving a van or on a building site, not hanging about with their buddies and captain’s of industry, that’s no way the real world works.
And let’s face it, Boris Johnson never actually does anything concrete ever. He simply creates an impression through show and PR, and it’s all about the show with Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson is completely lacking in moral fibre and understanding of others and has a lot of questions to answer about his financial integrity, and he’s just plain unsuitable for public office.
However, if you trust Boris Johnson just carry on voting for his party, and I agree that those that voted for him thought he would be a good Prime Minister, but now he’s nothing but a cunning conman who’s destroying the United Kingdom.