It's OK for MPs to have second job

DEWSBURY and Mirfield Tory MP Simon Reevell believes there is nothing wrong with MPs having second jobs.
Mr Reevell, a barrister, said the public were best served by MPs who had experience of real life rather than professional politicians who had done nothing else.
But Mr Reevell, who defeated Labour’s Shahid Malik at the General Election in May, said the work of an MP should always come first.
Mr Reevell was speaking after the publication of details of his outside income on the Parliamentary website. The publication lists legal aid payments he received dating back to July 2009, 10 months before he became an MP.
Some of the work was carried out since May but Mr Reevell said it was always in his own time. Since the election he had only been involved in one court trial which lasted less than two hours.
Mr Reevell said though he continued to practice in a limited way, nothing detracted from his work as an MP.
“Just because I am a barrister doesn’t mean I can’t be an effective MP,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is suggesting that myself and my office are not effective.
“Some people say that MPs shouldn’t do anything else but I don’t agree with that. If you would rather have as your MP someone who got an Alevel in politics, a politics degree, then becomes a researcher, then an MP and is a political purist then fine.
“But someone like me, a barrister, brings a great deal of experience to the role.
“I am used to people coming to me accused of murder so I am not going to be fazed by  most people’s problems.
“The fact I have been in the Army and been at the Bar has helped enormously. If someone gives me an answer I don’t like I know how to crossexamine them.”
Mr Reevell said it was important MPs had real life experience and added: “I have my skills and experience and other colleagues might run big businesses employing hundreds of people. That’s important too.”
Mr Reevell said he had not been away this summer and some of that ‘leave time’ had been spent on his legal work.
“This was paperwork he would do in the evening when he might otherwise be watching TV.
He said the payments declared to Parliament were mainly for cases which started before the election.
During the election campaign Mr Malik warned that Mr Reevell would be a “parttime” MP, but Mr Malik had a fulltime job as a Government minister.

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