Don’t twist Ed Milliband’s words

I read with interest your article on Ed Miliband’s reopening of the debate on second jobs for MPs. Simon Reevell’s attempt to spin Mr Miliband’s call for a change to the rules and to impose a limit on outside earnings as “passive approval” for his situation is pathetic.

He attempts to use his barrister skills to twist the argument in his favour, so allow me to give him a taste of his own medicine. Firstly, Mr Miliband is quoted as asking if it’s right MPs earn hundreds of thousands of pounds from private legal practice while they are supposed to be an MP. Contrary to Mr Reevell’s attempted denial, this does apply to him – Mr Miliband never says he restricts his concerns to those who earn such sums in a single year, and since becoming an MP Mr Reevell has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds at the bar. Secondly, I hardly think it wise of Mr Reevell, who earned nearly £90,000 in income from legal practice last year alone, to suggest any public concerns on outside earnings shouldn’t apply to him because he’s never earned hundreds of thousands in a single year. It is pedantic, cynical and out of touch.

I for one would heartily welcome new rules to restrict MPs’ second jobs. I want a full-time MP standing up for me and other Dewsbury residents and businesses, not someone who treats being a member of parliament as a side-line. We’ll find out whether the people of Dewsbury agree with me or with Mr Reevell in less than two years’ time at the ballot box.

Gemma Williamson

Wellhouse Ave
 Mirfield