Would-be MPs urged to tell voters about jobs outside Westminster

JACK STRAW: He has referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

JACK STRAW: He has referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

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ALL WOULD-BE MPs should be forced to tell voters what paid jobs they have and whether they would keep them if elected, a sleaze watchdog has said.

Lord Bew, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said politicians were “really riding for a fall” if they failed to address the issue of outside earnings.

He urged immediate action to restore public trust in the wake of the latest Westminster cash-for-access controversy.

Former Foreign Secretaries Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind said they had referred themselves for an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after being caught by hidden cameras discussing the possibility of working for a fictitious Chinese company.

Tory Sir Malcolm also announced he would not stand for re-election in May after helping fuel a debate over MPs’ right to supplement their £67,060 salaries. Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that extra work can be fitted in alongside constituency duties and MPs voted down a Labour call for a ban on holding paid directorships, consultancies or trade union roles.

Labour candidates have already been told they will not be allowed to hold directorships or be consultants if elected in May. Lord Bew expressed frustration that Parliament had not cleaned up the system.

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