MPs should still be allowed to work about 10 to 15 hours a week in second jobs as long as they are not offering political consultancy, a cabinet minister has said.
The international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, suggested the government could support new guidelines to put limits on the hours of outside work, as she gave a round of broadcast interviews on Wednesday morning.
Trevelyan, a Brexit supporter and ally of Boris Johnson, defended MPs being able to do some work outside parliament, saying it added to the “richness” of political life.
She told BBC Breakfast: “I think there is a common-sense test, which is if you probably do 40-50 hours a week doing your main job, doing 10 or 15 hours a week doing something else, whatever you choose to do in your spare time, whether that’s paid or not paid, is something that is part of the richness of what you bring as an individual to your role as an MP.”
However, there was later confusion over what the government would like the limit on hours to be, as Trevelyan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that an MP doing 20 hours a week of work outside parliament could be considered “reasonable”.