Boris Johnson warns MPs who break rules must be punished amid sleaze row

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Boris Johnson warns MPs who break rules must be punished amid sleaze row
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Boris Johnson has issued a stark warning to MPs amid the sleaze row.

The Prime Minister warned MPs who break the rules should be punished and he insisted they should “put their constituents first”.

Speaking from the COP26 conference, Mr Johnson said MPs “must follow the rules and prioritise their job as an MP”.

The Prime Minister warned MPs who break the rules should be punished (PA Wire)
The Prime Minister warned MPs who break the rules should be punished (PA Wire)

Mr Johnson said: “On the issue of MPs and second jobs and all that, I just want to say that the most important thing is that those who break the rules must be investigated and should be punished.”

However, he stressed there was “value” in MPs having a second job as it “strengthens democracy” following the row over Geoffrey Cox.

He added: “For 100s of years MPs have gone to parliament and worked as doctors and firefighters.

“On the whole, the British population has understood that parliamentarians need to have some experience of the world.

“But if that system is to continue, it is crucial that MPs follow the rules.”

It comes in the wake of Sir Geoffrey Cox defending his legal work outside Parliament and denying he breached rules which prevent MPs from using their House of Commons offices for second jobs.

Labour has referred Sir Geoffrey to the Commons standards commissioner after The Times first reported of video footage appearing to show him taking part in a virtual hearing from his House of Commons office on September 14.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner wrote to standards commissioner Kathryn Stone asking her for “guidance on beginning a formal investigation on this matter”.

Sir Geoffrey, a leading QC, said he made “no secret” of his professional activities and ensures work for his constituents is always prioritised.

“Sir Geoffrey regularly works 70-hour weeks and always ensures that his casework on behalf of his constituents is given primary importance and fully carried out,” the statement said.

Elsewhere speaking at COP26, Mr Johnson made an appeal to other world leaders to seize the opportunities offered by the climate change talks.

He said: “Here in Glasgow the world is closer than it has ever been to signalling the beginning of the end of anthropogenic climate change.

“It is now within reach. At Cop26 in these final days we just need to reach out together and grasp it.

“So my question to my fellow world leaders as we enter the last hours of Cop26 is: will you help us do that? Will you help us grasp the opportunity or will you stand in the way?”

The PM voiced his frustration at countries having “spent six years conspicuously patting themselves on the back” after the Paris climate agreement.

He said: “That 2015 agreement in Paris was a significant moment in the fight against climate change, but it was ultimately a pledge of action still to come.

“And it’s very frustrating to see countries that have spent six years conspicuously patting themselves on the back for signing that promissory note in Paris quietly edging towards default now that vulnerable nations and future generations are demanding payment here now in Glasgow.”

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