Ministers face ban on taking lucrative directorships

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Indy Politics

A review by the Government is expected to make it harder for ministers, MPs and senior civil servants to take business jobs where there could be a conflict of interest with their Whitehall work.

The move follows controversy that several senior government figures, including Alan Milburn, have been paid thousands of pounds working for companies that have profited from government work.

It is up to each minister personally to decide what action to take "to avoid a conflict or the perception of a conflict". MPs, including ministers, also have to declare any outside consultancies.

Senior government sources said that the rules on appointments were now being revamped and would lead to closer scrutiny of the jobs ministers and MPs take.

The Government is looking at whether to impose "gardening leave" on former ministers so that they have to take a break before working for a business whose work may have been related to their government jobs. They are also considering whether an independent body should advise MPs and ministers on potential conflicts of interest.

Civil servants and special advisers are also likely to face new rules, following the completion of an external review by the government on business appointment rules.

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