GP and Labour MP condemns ban on MPs' second jobs

The looming ban on MPs' second jobs is 'short-sighted' and will end a valuable contribution to parliament from GPs, according to GP and MP Dr Howard Stoate.

Dr Stoate: distinguishing between MPs' second careers is important
Dr Stoate: distinguishing between MPs' second careers is important

Dr Stoate, Labour MP for Dartford in Kent, co-chairman of the All Party Group on Primary Care and Public Health will continue as a part-time GP and step down as an MP at the next election after nearly 13 years in the Commons.

Reforms brought in after the expenses scandal meant Dr Stoate would be unable to practise as a GP and remain an MP.

‘I think it's very short sighted,' he said. ‘The last thing we need is people that have spent a few years at a think-tank after university and then going into politics.

‘We need to distinguish between different types of second careers, for example if it is valuable and relevant, or purely financial. It would be to the detriment of the House if GPs are not represented.'

Dr Stoate added that he is unsure if extended hours is appropriate nationwide. He also had concerns about competition in general practice.

‘Extended hours is still patchy, but I'm not sure how valuable it's been. I think if you can demonstrate there is need it has to be a good thing, but practices shouldn't be staying open for the sake of it.

‘I'm not sure [competition] is wholly necessary,' he added. ‘It's been useful for people to sit up and take notice of what others are doing - I've no problem with that. But I'm not sure about competition purely to drive down costs.'

Editor's blog: Why Dr Howard Stoate shouldn't be able to work as an MP and GP

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