PM backs ban on MPs’ lobbying work in wake of Westminster sleaze row

Boris Johnson has set out plans to ban MPs from working as paid political consultants or lobbyists in the wake of Westminster’s sleaze row.

In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, the prime minister said there was a need to ensure rules for MPs are “up to date, effective and appropriately rigorous”.

Mr Johnson said he believed the code of conduct for MPs should be updated in order to ensure their work “continues to command the confidence of the public”.

The prime minister gave his backing to suggested reforms by a 2018 report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which advises Downing Street on arrangements for upholding ethical standards of conduct among public servants.

These proposed reforms included updating the code of conduct to state that MPs’ outside earnings “should be within reasonable limits and should not prevent them from fully carrying out their range of duties”.

Mr Johnson also supported the report’s recommendation to update the code of conduct to ban MPs from “any paid work to provide services as a parliamentary stategist, adviser or consultant”.

The prime minister’s letter was released just minutes before Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was due to speak at a news conference to set out his party’s own plans in the wake of the Westminster sleaze scandal.