A ban on moonlighting should be introduced to force MPs to concentrate on their constituents rather than earning money in the City, a Labour MP said.
Peter Bradley, the member for The Wrekin, said some MPs were "apparently too greedy, too bored or too arrogant" to stick to parliamentary work and should be forced to give up their second jobs.
Introducing a Ten Minute Rule Bill, Mr Bradley told the House that MPs did not need to supplement their incomes. "Being an MP is a full-time job," he said. "We should be full-time professionals. We are certainly well paid and we earn on average three to four times the income of our constituents."
Mr Bradley said that the latest Register of Members' Interests revealed that 115 MPs – about 24 per cent – pursued careers in the City, the courts or as consultants. Most were Tories, although a third of MPs with second incomes were Labour.
He said: "The House of Commons has become the epicentre of the black economy. No self-respecting employer in our own constituencies would tolerate the kind of moonlighting that many members of this House go in for.
"A quarter of MPs are evidently too greedy, too bored or too arrogant to devote their time and energy to the job their constituents are paying them to do.
"These are not members who have fallen on hard times and are taking in laundry. These are people who are flirting with the boardrooms and the courtrooms, in the City and the inns of court, earning a small fortune."
Mr Bradley's Bill, which has no chance of becoming law, would ban outside earnings by MPs, apart from paid journalism, lecturing and policy development work.Reuse content