Ac­tion un­der way to pre­vent MSPs from tak­ing se­cond job

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

MSPs could be banned from hav­ing a se­cond job un­der pro­pos­als which will be con­sid­ered at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

Labour MSP Neil Find­lay lodged a Mem­ber’s Bill on Fri­day at Holy­rood call­ing on a ban to pre­vent con­flicts of in­ter­est and the mis­use of MSPs’ time for fi­nan­cial gain.

A pre­vi­ous Mem­ber’s Bill by Mr Find­lay, which sought to limit the in­flu­ence of lob­by­ists at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, even­tu­ally led to the in­tro­duc­tion of the Lob­by­ing (Scot­land) Act 2016.

Mr Find­lay said: “Trust in politi­cians, gov­ern­ments and the wider po­lit­i­cal process is, ar­guably, at an all-time low.

“When some­one is elected to par­lia­ment they are car­ry­ing out a pub­lic duty, and I be­lieve the fo­cus of MSPs should re­flect the im­por­tance of that po­si­tion.

“If it doesn’t, then the rules should en­force it.”

Mr Find­lay said that his Bill would seek to stop politi­cians from ben­e­fit­ing fi­nan­cially dur­ing their time in of­fice at the ex­pense of con­stituents.

He said: “MSPs are elected to serve the peo­ple and in most cases that is ex­actly what they do. Sadly in a num­ber of cases, some MSPs have stretched the lim­its of ac­cept­abil­ity and caused harm to the rep­u­ta­tion of the par­lia­ment.

“My bill is in­tended to put an end to MSPs tak­ing a healthy wage from the pub­lic purse and then earn­ing thou­sands on top when they should be serv­ing their con­stituents.

“It does not seek to ban all out­side in­ter­ests out­right. This isn’t about stop­ping MSPs us­ing their ex­per­tise, it’s about mak­ing sure they’re best used in the par­lia­ment, for the

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