Laws to punish corrupt MPs, close loopholes that allow corruption

Make it a criminal offence for MPs to take any money except their salary and solely justifiable, work-related expenses; ban them from holding paid positions with companies


Stephen Byers

We need new laws to make it a criminal offence for MPs to accept money other than their salary and justified expenses. Stephen Byers (Labour - above) and John Butterfill (Conservative - below) are just the tip of the iceberg.

John Butterfill

MPs like Stephen Byers (Labour), Geoff Hoon (Labour) and John Butterfill (Conservative) have been caught on video offering to influence government policy and vote certain ways in parliament in return for money - yet as the law stands this is not illegal. This is the tip of the ice-berg. Our political system has become corrupt. We need new laws to make political parties, MPs or candidates accepting money for party funds, campaign funds or for themselves a criminal offence with punishments varying from fines to jail, along with being banned from standing for any elected office for 5 years, 10 years or for life, depending on the amounts involved and the seriousness of the offence.

All candidates' political campaigns should be publicly funded during elections, with maybe £3,000 each going to each candidate, all of which will have to be spent only on that election campaign. Spending it on anything else should be a criminal offence too. This would cost millions of pounds of taxpayers' money at every election, but it would save taxpayers many billions of pounds each year, by reducing corruption. Billionaires and big firms would find it much harder to buy influence to get hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money in reduced and avoided taxes, public subsidies to their companies (e.g PFIs, PPPs, subsidised privatised rail, subsidies to arms companies like BAE).

MPs should also be banned from being employed by any company for 4 years after leaving office, to prevent companies buying influence by offering employment to former MPs and government ministers. During this period MPs should be paid the average wage (around £20,000 a year) rather than their usually salary (of around £60,000). This would also be spending a modest amount of money in order to save billions lost through corruption.

To read more on this see this blog post