Move to ban MSPs from having a second job

MSPs could be banned from having a second job under proposals which will be considered at the Scottish Parliament.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay lodged a Member’s Bill on Friday at Holyrood calling on a ban to prevent conflicts of interest and the misuse of MSPs’ time for financial gain.

A previous Member’s Bill by Mr Findlay, which sought to limit the influence of lobbyists at the Scottish Parliament, eventually led to the introduction of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016.

Mr Findlay said: “Trust in politicians, governments and the wider political process is, arguably, at an all-time low.

“When someone is elected to Parliament they are carrying out a public duty, and I believe the focus of MSPs should reflect the importance of that position.

“If it doesn’t, then the rules should enforce it.”

Mr Findlay said that his Bill would seek to stop politicians from benefiting financially during their time in office at the expense of constituents.

He said: “MSPs are elected to serve the people and in most cases that is exactly what they do. Sadly in a number of cases, some MSPs have stretched the limits of acceptability and caused harm to the reputation of the Parliament.

“My bill is intended to put an end to MSPs taking a healthy wage from the public purse and then earning thousands on top when they should be serving their constituents.

“It does not seek to ban all outside interests outright. This isn’t about stopping MSPs using their expertise, it’s about making sure they are best used in the Parliament, for the people.”