The Committee on Standards in Public Life has today published its review on MPs’ outside interests. The Committee has recommended that The Code of Conduct for MPs and Guide to the Rules should be updated to state that outside interests, whether paid or unpaid, should not compromise their principal role as an MP. The Committee has also recommended that MPs should not accept gifts, benefits, or hospitality from lobbyists. Finally, the report has also recommended that MPs should not accept any paid work to provide services as a Parliamentary strategist.
Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:
“We agree with the Committee’s recommendations in principle, however it is important that the guidance is not drawn so stringently that MPs are constrained from attending events which keep them in touch with wider public opinion.
“We have always argued that when it comes to lobbying, you simply cannot be both a lobbyist and an MP. The PRCA Code of Conduct already bans lawmakers from being lobbyists. Therefore, we are delighted to see that the Committee has given more clarity on the issue in their recommendations.
“However, MPs and lobbyists play a vital role in engaging with the public and keeping the public informed, and should therefore not be discouraged from venturing outside of the ‘Westminster bubble’. Any new guidelines should bear this in mind.”