Keir Starmer is grilled on 2017 Mishcon de Reya talks
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Labour leader Keir Starmer was left squirming by Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates when he was asked about the second job he considered taking while an MP. The grilling came after it was revealed that the Labour leader earned £247-an-hour from a second job amid calls for a ban on the practice.
Speaking to Sky News, Keir Starmer said: “Many, many years ago, back I think in 2015, the Labour Party said that paid consultancies ought to go.
“And we put that to vote in 2015. The Government voted it down.
“The independent committee on standard public life, they proposed pretty much the same thing in 2018.
“So it seems to me that’s an obvious change that we ought to make and we should make that straight away.”
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Sam Coates asked: “Hang on. In 2017 you were in talks to take a consultancy job yourself with Mishcon de Reya.
“Was the decision wrong? Do you regret that now?”
Mr Starmer said: “I have, in fact, given up by practicing certificate as a lawyer.”
Mr Coates pressed on: “But at the point at which you said it was wrong, you were in talks to take a job yourself.”
Mr Starmer said: “No I wasn’t. There was discussion, nothing happened.
The reporter asked: “Was the discussion wrong? You started it.
“Why did you do that? Why do you think that was wrong now? What’s changed?”
The Labour leader said in response: “I have given up my practicing certificate.
“I can no longer act as a lawyer. I have two jobs.
“One is to represent the members have papers and papers by constituency, and the other is to bring down this war for governments and that’s the job that I’m focusing on.
The reporter asked: “But to be clear that what you were in discussions work for in 2017.
“You don’t think you should be able to do that now going forward, that kind of behaviour would be wrong.”
“I have given written pieces of legal advice since I’ve been an MP.
“But I have now given up my legal certificate, I gave it up the best part of two years ago.
“That means I’m no longer qualified to give legal advice.
“My job is to represent those people in Holborn and St Pancras and to bring down this awful Government.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer, the former shadow Brexit secretary was offered a job by Mishcon de Reya in 2017, the law firm behind the court case that forced Theresa May to give parliament a vote on Article 50.
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