The Daily Telegraph

MPs’ jobs to be reviewed after Osborne case

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A WHITEHALL sleaze watchdog is to review its guidance on MPs’ second jobs in the wake of the appointmen­t of the former chancellor, George Osborne, as editor of the Evening Standard.

The news came as Mr Osborne claimed he had “overwhelmi­ng support” from his constituen­cy party.

The chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life insisted the review was not prompted solely by the Osborne case, saying that it had been under considerat­ion for some time.

Lord Bew said the committee wanted to look again at its 2009 guidance that second jobs were acceptable so long as voters were informed about them at the time of the election. And he said it would consider what was the “reasonable limit” that could be applied to MPs’ outside interests.

Inviting submission­s from the public to the review, Lord Bew said: “We will make a further submission on ‘reasonable limits’ for outside interests to the Commons Committee on Standards’ ongoing inquiry into the Code of Conduct for MPs. We will be holding a short review to inform our submission.

“It is for the Advisory Committee on Business Appointmen­ts, the Parliament­ary Commission­er for Standards and the House of Commons Committee on Standards to rule on individual cases.”

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether his committee was acting in response to Mr Osborne’s appointmen­t, Lord Bew said: “We have been paying attention to this for some time and the issue is the important thing for us, rather than any individual case.

He added: “The question for us [is]… do we need to look again at what the reasonable limit might be for an MP’s outside interests?”

Last night, after an annual general meeting of the Tatton Conservati­ves in his constituen­cyt, George Osborne said he has “overwhelmi­ng support” from his local party in Cheshire.

Patti Goddard, president of the Tatton Conservati­ve Associatio­n and chairman of the AGM, described Mr Osborne as “our star” and said the meeting had been “incredibly positive” with “unanimous support” for their MP.

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