There’s been a lot in the news in recent days about MPs and whether or not they should have second (or third or fourth or fifth) jobs, so I wanted to let you know my thoughts;
An MP’s first job and main focus must be to their constituents, however in principle I am OK with MPs having second jobs.
MPs do have some spare time, and time some weekends, when they should be free to do whatever they want including a second job. Some may run businesses before becoming an MP and it is clearly important that they maintain that business at some level as a back-stop in case they lose a subsequent election.
For some people, keeping up with latest technology, practices or thinking will be critical to ensure that they are up to speed in the event they lose an election – I’m thinking here about doctors as a typical example.
Another reason for spending some time back in the “real world” is to better keep in touch with members of the public.
One of the biggest criticisms of MPs is that they are out of touch, career politicians. I agree with this sentiment.
If we are to change this, then people looking to become an MP from outside the Westminster bubble will be holding down a regular job up to the point of the election. Being an MP is a privilege not a right and inevitably elections will be won and lost and those that lose will then have to return to their past career – this could be difficult if they have been divorced from it too much over the previous 5 years.
On a personal level, if elected, I wouldn’t be looking to continue my career at the same time as being MP for Surrey Heath – you will have my undivided attention!