Second jobs, U-turns and the ‘cruel world of politics’
Westminster is once again in crisis, amid the chaos surrounding the Owen Paterson lobbying affair.
The MP was found to have broken the rules and was meant to be suspended, but MPs voted to overturn the system rather than suspend their colleague, only to then U-turn the next day. Mr Paterson maintains he did nothing wrong but has resigned his seat.
The crisis has thrown up questions that have been asked before: should MPs be lobbyists? Should MPs have second jobs? Who should oversee the conduct of MPs? Who should be allowed a seat in the Lords? Is the Prime Minister shirking responsibility or are his poll numbers immune to scandal?
Correspondent Paul McNamara discusses what exactly Owen Paterson did, whether the system is broken, and what this all tells us about not just what MPs are up to, but what this government thinks it can and cannot get away with.