Monday, 4 May 2009

Tory frontbencher with two jobs gets grilled

Tory Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley admitted earning £24,000, in addition to his work as an MP, for "ten or twelve" days work a year as a non-executive director of a company, which is gross in more than one way.

Clearly for a number of front bench Tories, including the shadow foreign secretary and de facto deputy leader of the party, beng an elected representative isn't a full time job.

It begs the question, what would they propose to do with these directorships if they entered government? Would they keep them? If they propose to drop them, do they mean to say that they believe that they hold themselves to a lower standard than their government counterparts? There aren't many corporate directors on the Treasury bench.


  1. "Clearly for a number of front bench Tories...beng [sic] an elected representative isn't a full time job."

    Yet, former Labour cabinet ministers Patricia Hewitt, Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, David Blunkett and Lord Falconer have also all taken up work in addition to their parliamentary roles. It is not just the Tories who have outside jobs in the private sector.

    Being an MP is a full-time job and that goes for Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrats members.

  2. There is a difference from a former cabinet minister who is not a principle spokesperson for their party on a particular issue and one who is and who is hoping after the election to be a cabinet minister.

    I mean if being a senior memebr of the opposition front bench is not enough work, arent you meant to be forming policy or does it mean that the tories dont actually have any new policies or are they just going to go back to form and implement thatcherite stuff again.

  3. The point I wanted to get across was whether they intended to keep the jobs if they entered government, or whether they didn't. If he only works twelve days a year then clearly he could still do it during his holidays, except that it would be an unworkable conflict of interest. If he doesn't, it's hyporcrisy to hold himself out as a candidate for a cabinet level job, but not hold himself to the same standard.

  4. Are you saying that being in Opposition is more important than being in government?
    Otherwise, I'm not sure what your point is.

    In any case, while the Tories wait to take up government, why shouldn't they do other jobs?