Boris Johnson says rule-breaking MPs must be punished – as it happened

Boris Johnson says rule-breaking MPs must be punished – as it happened
Updates from Wednesday below


Geoffrey Cox accused of working second job from Commons office

Boris Johnson has claimed one of the “most important” rules in government is that MPs “who break the rules must be investigated, and should be punished” accordingly.

Speaking at a Cop26 press conference, during which he made a last bid attempt to rally world leaders to commit to stronger climate pledges, the PM also said the rules about MPs holding second jobs are “clear” – and that they must put their role as constituency representatives “first”.

Insisting that he “genuinely believes the UK is not remotely a corrupt country”, Mr Johnson told reporters on Wednesday: “For hundreds of years, MPs have gone to parliament and also done work as doctors, lawyers or soldiers or firefighters … but, if that system is going to continue today, then it is crucial that MPs follow the rules”.

It comes after Sir Geoffrey Cox – who served as attorney general between 2018 and 2020 – earlier denied breaching Commons rules, despite footage which appears to show him conducting non-parliamentary work from his MP office. He was working at the time as an adviser to the British Virgin Islands during an inquiry, launched by the UK government, into possible corruption there.


Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage, which will focus on the sleaze scandal engulfing the government.

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 07:46

Duncan Smith accused of ‘brazen’ conflict of interest over £25,000-a-year job

Iain Duncan Smith has become the latest Tory MP to be embroiled in the sleaze scandal.

The former Tory leader has been accused of a “brazen conflict of interests” in his £25,000-a-year role advising a hand sanitizer company, which stood to gain from recommendations made by a government task force he chaired.

My colleague Emily Atkinson reports:

Questions raised over Iain Duncan Smith’s £25,000 job at hand sanitiser firm

Labour accuses former Tory leader of ‘brazen conflict of interest’

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 07:49

Labour accuses Geoffrey Cox of ‘egregious’ flouting of Commons rules

Labour has accused Tory MP Geoffrey Cox of an “egregious” breach of Commons rules, after the former attorney general reportedly used his parliamentary office to perform non-parliamentary work.

It is thought that he used the space to attend a hearing in September, in his role as legal adviser to the government of British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Calls for investigation over claim Tory MP worked second job from Commons office

Former attorney general already under fire for legal work in Caribbean during lockdown

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 07:58

‘Really important’ parliamentary offices not used for second jobs, says standards committee chair

The chair of the Commons standards committee has said MPs are not allowed to run a business from their parliamentary offices.

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda, said it was occasionally permissible to meet other people in this space but “you’re not meant to run a commercial operation out of your taxpayer-funded office either in Parliament or in your constituency”.

He added that it is “really important” to have this “basic rule”.

Mr Bryant declined to comment on the allegations surrounding Geoffrey Cox MP, as a potential investigation would come before his committee.

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 08:11

MPs need to be ‘transparent’ about second jobs, says Javid

It is important that MPs with second jobs “are completely open and transparent”, the health secretary Sajid Javid has said.

Asked specifically about allegations swirling around Geoffrey Cox, Mr Javid said he would not get into individual cases.

“I think it is important that their constituents obviously know about that and also that they engage in no kind of lobbying whatsoever,” he told Sky News.

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 08:26

Met Police could investigate ‘cash for honours’ claims against Tories

The police are considering whether to probe “cash for honours” allegations made against the Conservative party.

This comes after it was reported that Tory donors who gave the party £3 million or more were appointed to the House of Lords.

Peter Wishart, the Scottish National Party (SNP) Commons leader, asked the Met Police to investigate the claim, referring to how 22 of the Tories’ largest donors had been ennobled in the past 11 years.

“Together they have donated some £54 million to the Tories,” he said. “I believe that it is only right to investigate whether these donations were, in fact, rewarded with honours.”

Police considering call to investigate ‘cash for honours’ allegations against Tories

SNP MP wrote to Dame Cressida Dick calling for probe into ‘potential criminal misconduct regarding the procurement’ of peerages

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 08:44

Cox broke Commons rules if he used parliamentary office for second job, says Javid

Geoffrey Cox broke parliamentary rules if he used his office for external work, Sajid Javid has admitted.

Although the health secretary refused to discuss allegations made against Mr Cox, he acknowledged that the rules were clear.

“Whether it’s your parliamentary office, or any other parliamentary stationery, or anything that’s funded or supported by the taxpayer, of course that should not be used,” he said.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more details:

Geoffrey Cox has broken rules if he used Commons office for second job, minister says

‘The rules on the use of parliamentary property….are clear. And of course, all MPs will be expected to observe that’

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 09:00

Video: Javid says parliamentary offices cannot be used for outside work

MPs should not use their parliamentary office for second job work, Javid says-.mp4
Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 09:10

Inside Politics

Here’s Matt Mathers with our daily politics newsletter, which hones in on the latest sleaze allegations facing the Conservatives.

Inside Politics: Geoffrey Cox accused of working second job from Commons office

Labour calls for probe into West Devon MP, claiming he may have breached parliamentary code, as PM makes early dart to Glasgow for second Cop26 visit, writes Matt Mathers

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 09:23

Some MPs could leave parliament if second jobs banned, says health secretary

Some MPs could leave parliament if second jobs are prohibited, Sajid Javid has said.

The health secretary, who worked for J.P. Morgan while he was a backbencher, said he used to spend a maximum of two days each month on his non-parliamentary role.

Asked if any of his colleagues would leave parliament if second jobs were banned, Mr Javid said: “I wouldn’t leave. Do I think others would leave? Look, I can’t speak for them, perhaps there will be some.”

Rory Sullivan10 November 2021 09:42