'Double-jobbing' MPs to face ban on two salaries

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MPs from Northern Ireland will be banned from sitting in the Stormont Assembly as well as Westminster, the Government said yesterday.

The Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson, vowed to crack down on "double-jobbing" politicians who are paid to sit in Parliament as well as the devolved Belfast institution.

Mr Paterson said: "I don't believe anybody can be a full-time MP and a full-time Assembly Member, and so I will give you this commitment today – by agreement, if possible, but by law if necessary, we will end double-jobbing."

Mr Paterson believed that now peace had largely been restored to the six counties, it was time for Stormont to focus on rejuvenating Northern Ireland's economy.

"The next step is to move beyond the peace process and build a prosperous Northern Ireland in which everyone has a genuinely shared future," he said.

"We are living through very tough times, but we can't ignore the fact that as a result of Labour's legacy the UK as a whole is borrowing £232,000 a minute and Northern Ireland has to play its part in reducing the deficit." PA