Karran gets no support for bill to curb jobs for MHKs

Peter Karran MHK

Peter Karran MHK

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A move to put the spotlight on politicians who take up lucrative business posts on leaving office found no support in Tynwald.

Onchan MHK Peter Karran, who put forward a motion to set up a committee to look into the matter said he was disappointed but unsurprised at its reception.

Mr Karran’s motion called for a committee to report to Tynwald on ‘the propriety of former members of Tynwald and public servants after retirement accepting directorships or other paid work from companies with which they had done business in the course of their public duties’.

‘I can’t believe how stupid the Council of Ministers has been in not supporting this. It’s something we may need primary legislation on,’ Mr Karran said.

‘It’s not unreasonable to expect restrictions on this. In any civilised democracy there are restrictions on people accepting things like directorships and consultancies.’

Fellow Onchan MHK David Quirk seconded Mr Karran’s motion but told Tynwald members he was doing it to promote a debate, though he did not support it himself.

Mr Quirk told members he feared any investigation into the matter would ‘turn into a witch hunt’.

Mr Karran said; ‘I’ve been an MHK for nearly 30 years now and I know how it operates. If people weren’t frightened of exposure, they would have supported me.

‘I thank Mr Quirk for seconding the motion and I know what he meant when he spoke of a “witch hunt”: I think that’s what they were worried about.’

He said he believed restrictions in other countries often included a several-year time delay on accepting a directorship, for example.

Though disappointed, Mr Karran said he would try again in another Tynwald session.

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