Fraser Nelson

Harman’s cunning plan could hit her own side

Harman's cunning plan could hit her own side
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Harriet Harman, now 3-1 favourite to be the next Labour leader, has a cunning plan to shaft the Tories. For some time now, she has been badgering Brown to outlaw MPs having second jobs. As I disclose in my News of the World column today, the PM is now warming to it because he thinks Cameron would not support it, thus allowing him to draw another of his beloved dividing lines. It would also exploit Cameron's own sensitivities about the number of his shadow cabinet with second jobs. And, of course, underline her class war credentials to Labour's selectorate.

There is, however, only one problem. By the time it would be made law, Labour will most likely be months away from opposition. About a hundred Tories would be swapping their second jobs for a ministerial income, paid on top of their MPS salary. And the people Harman's scheme would hit are the brighter Labour ex-ministers, who will be keen to line up directorships to replace their lost ministerial income. So a rearguard action is being fought against Harman.  She is, of course a "flower of the aristocracy", as Alan Duncan rather wonderfully dubbed her in their debut exchange last week. She is rich enough not to need a second job. Hence the resentment of by the wisely nervous labour ministers, whose minds are turning towards pending unemployment.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

Topics in this articlePolitics