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  1. National

Politicians clash over second jobs row

Ed Miliband has called on David Cameron to ban MPs from having second jobs "to restore the reputation of this house" following recent allegations against two former foreign secretaries.

Tory MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind is to step down as an MP at the General Election and has also resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, he said.

Sir Rifkind and Jack Straw were both suspended from their parties after they were secretly filmed allegedly offering to use their positions and contacts to benefit a private company in return for cash. Both men deny any wrong-doing.

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  1. Tom Bradby

A ban on MPs taking consultancies looks unlikely

The problem is that it is a very difficult argument to make - but there is an argument to be made for MPs to be allowed outside interests on the grounds that it attracts a slightly greater breadth of professional people into the House of Commons. MPs also say they are not paid enough. Well that really depends on who you compare them to I suppose. But the difficulty for them is really simple.

It is not like it is the world's biggest secret what MPs are paid. It's right there on the tin when you take the job. More to the point, when all of us send our MPs to the Commons, it is really clear that we want them to represent our interests.

We do not particularly want them to represent the interests of company X or company Y - for any reason. That's the reality. That's why these scandals will keep recurring until, I am afraid, MPs are banned from taking on any outside consultancies, and it doesn't look like that's about to happen.

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