Northern Ireland news

Rules on second jobs for MPs could be changed after George Osborne's newspaper appointment

Lord Bew, the chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life and Professor of Irish Politics at Queen's University Belfast, has said the issue of second jobs for MPs will be discussed in the wake of Mr Osborne's appointment

THE rules on MPs taking second jobs could be changed after former chancellor George Osborne's appointment as editor of the London Evening Standard, the chairman of the chief standards watchdog has said.

Mr Osborne will take up his role at the newspaper in May and said he intends to carry on representing his Cheshire constituency of Tatton - 190 miles from London - in parliament.

However, Lord Paul Bew, the chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life and Professor of Irish Politics at Queen's University Belfast, said that the committee would discuss whether the rules should be modified in the wake of Mr Osborne's decision.

Lord Bew told The Sunday Times: "We have not ruled out MPs having second jobs, quite deliberately, up until now, but we now have to look again at our rules.

"We are going to discuss whether our rules on second jobs need to be changed in light of this. We had something that up to a degree worked. It now seems to be getting into rockier waters."

Lord Bew said that the role did not fit the current policy on second jobs, but stressed that the issue was "not personal" to Mr Osborne.

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