Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Share my job? Bonkers, says Southend MP
5:00pm Friday 5th October 2012 in News
A SOUTHEND MP has branded the idea of introducing job shares to Parliament “absolutely raving bonkers”.
David Amess, the Tory MP for Southend West, said it was “crazy” to believe two people could jointly perform an MP’s role.
His outburst followed a letter to a national newspaper, signed by dozens of MPs, academics and other prominent figures, which advocated job shares in Parliament to ensure it was more “representative” of the electorate.
Mr Amess said: “When I heard this suggestion, I thought it was April Fools’ Day.
“Unless I have misunderstood the concept, I think it is absolutely raving bonkers.
“This is not the sort of job that is appropriate for job shares.”
Job shares allow two people to work on a part-time basis by splitting a role - including its salary and benefits - between them.
The concept has spread to posts as senior as primary care trust chief executives and council directorships. Supporters of the idea claim it would allow more people, such as young mothers or the disabled, to stand for Parliament.
Meg Hillier, the Labour MP for Hackney South, said: “The idea that MPs can still kid themselves that our job is so special that the rules of the real world do not apply to it - I think that is bonkers. “It is a privileged job, but a job like any other.”
But Mr Amess argued the Government was trying to reduce the number of MPs - from 650 to 600 - by the next election and job-sharing deals would compound the problem.
He added: “I think our job has already been dumbed down and huge damage has been done. “This is just not like an ordinary job and this sort of idea is what has gone wrong with democracy at the moment.”
Comments are closed on this article.