CIPR cautiously welcomes moves to ban MPs from paid consultancy work but more detail required
The CIPR has cautiously welcomed last night's vote in the House of Commons to propose a ban MPs from having second jobs as paid parliamentary consultants and restrict all other outside work to "reasonable hours". The Institute has urged the government not to pass up the opportunity to "get this right".
The result of the vote means the standards committee has until January 31 to draw up recommendations in how they propose this will work in practice. There is no commitment from the government to implement those proposals and no indication of when MPs will have the opportunity to vote on them. A Guardian analysis suggests the government’s proposed reforms will have a minimal impact with fewer than 10 MPs being affected.
On BBC News yesterday, the CIPR CEO Alastair McCapra, called the government's move "welcome but overdue" but raised concerns as to whether the new rules, as outlined in a letter from the prime minister to the speaker of the commons, would "be sufficient on its own to restore public trust".
The move to ban MPs from paid consultancy work is a welcome one, long supported by the CIPR, and goes some way to address concerns around public standards in parliament. How these proposals will be defined, scrutinised, and enforced is yet to be seen. We have a real opportunity to get this right and it is one that must not be missed. The government's proposals give the standards committee a template to work towards and we have full confidence they will address the concerns we have. The government must then commit to implementing those recommendations.
This is a first step in the right direction. We now need to know the destination and when we will get there.
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas with nearly 10,000 members.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).