politics

Labour to announce five year ban on ex-ministers taking consultancy jobs


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Labour Deputy leader Angela Rayner will unveil how the party will clean up politics if Keir Starmer becomes PM in a keynote speech to the Institute of Government in London

Labour are set to announce a five year ban on former ministers lining their pockets with cushy consultancy jobs.

That would have stopped disgraced ex-Environment and Food Secretary Owen Paterson pocketing £500 an hour from a sausage processing firm.

And it would also have prevented former Tory PM David Cameron getting £45million worth of share options from finance firm Greensill Capital.

Billionaire Australian founder Lex Greensill filed for bankruptcy in March after his firm was unable to repay a £100million Credit Suisse loan.

Labour Deputy leader Angela Rayner will unveil how the party will clean up politics if Keir Starmer becomes PM in a keynote speech to the Institute of Government in London.

She will say: “There can be no stronger evidence that the rules are broken than the case of David Cameron.

“If the former PM can text everyone in his phonebook to help his dodgy mate Lex Greensill, it is clear the rules themselves are broken.

“Forget the revolving door. We have a system where the door is held wide open for former ministers to line their pockets as soon as they leave office.”







The rule change would have stopped Owen Paterson taking a job advising a sausage manufacturer
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Image:

PA)

At present the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments governs the rules on ex-ministers working in the private sector.

But the PM is the only one with the power to order investigations into the conduct of ministers – including himself.

Ms Rayner will say: “ACOBA is a completely toothless and ineffective watchdog.”

It will be replaced by an independent Integrity and Ethics Commission with powers to ban ministers from lobbying, consultancy or any paid work relating to their government jobs for at least five years after leaving office.

And it will be able to impose sanctions such as demanding the return of severance pay worth £16,000 and pension entitlements.

Ms Rayner accused the Government of “muzzling its own watchdog” after ministers refused to sanction former Tory Chancellor Lord Hammond for lobbying Treasury officials on behalf of OakNorth International Bank which has links to Saudi Arabian funding.

ACOBA chair, the former Tory Cabinet minister Lord Pickles, said: “It was not in keeping with the letter or the spirit of the rules for the former Chancellor to contact the Treasury on behalf of a bank which pays for its advice.”

But last week Paymaster General Michael Ellis said: “Although we concur with the Committee’s conclusion, we do not believe further sanctions should be taken”.

Ms Rayner added: “This is just the latest evidence that Boris Johnson will not tackle the corruption that has engulfed his Government and the Conservative Party.”

A source close to Ms Rayner said: “Angela is really serious about cleaning up this mess.

“Ministers should serve the public not keep one eye on a cushy lobbying gig for when they leave office. It’s just a racket.”

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