The panel could have been asked whether MPs should or shouldn’t have “second jobs”. If so, I suspect the proportion answering that they should would have been lower than that saying they should have “outside interests”. Though probably not much lower.
In any event, roughly three quarters of respondents seem to take the same view as this site. Namely, that being an MP is work, not a “job” (were it so, why are the best part of a hundred of them moonlighting as Ministers?); and that MPs are elected representatives, like local councillors, not professional politicians.
Party activists are out of step with the wider public, according to polling from Ipsos MORI. It found recently recently that “around half of Britons disapprove of MPs being paid to do second jobs while they are MPs (52 per cent). Only one in five (19 per cent) approve”.
The Government believes that parts of a report the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which chaired by Lord Bew, “form the basis of a viable approach which could command the confidence of parliamentarians and the public”. The report says that “MP’s interests outside the House should not compromise their principal role as MPs”.
The Committee on Standards is due to publish draft proposals on outside interests this week. The Government “supports cross-party work, including that being done by the House’s Committee on Standards, to bring forward recommendations to update the Code of Conduct for MPs by 31 January 2022.”