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Weschle Discusses the Parliamentary Behaviors of Politicians with Second Jobs on The Bunker Podcast

August 1, 2023

The Bunker

Simon Weschle

Simon Weschle

MPs (members of Parliament) have collectively earned millions of pounds from side hustles in the last few years. From the ‘cash for access’ scandal to the resignation of Owen Paterson, the public is fascinated by extra work carried out by politicians. But how much does this impact their day jobs? 

"A common criticism of these second jobs is that if these politicians, if they spend all of this time working in the private sector, they have less time to do their job as an MP representing their constituents in the House of Commons," says Simon Weschle, associate professor of political science.

"One way to test how much effort MPs put into their job is looking at vote attendance, how many votes did they attend, how many do they miss," he says.

"Typically, you would expect a decrease in voter attendance because they’re working in the private sector. What you find among Labor MPs in no difference whatsoever. Among Conservative MPs you actually find that attendance increases when they have a second job. So they are more likely to attend votes," says Weschle.

Listen to the full interview on The Bunker podcast, "Odd jobs: How MPs’ side hustles twist our Democracy." 

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