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Double-jobbing MPs are short-changing us all

A fresh call from the Committee on Standards in Public Life to end the practice of double-jobbing by Stormont politicians is to be welcomed.

For far too long they've been getting away with short-changing voters.

Currently 50% of our MPs in Northern Ireland are also MLAs and it simply isn't possible for them to do the best possible job in two positions.

Some of our honest politicians are prepared to admit this, with the SDLP's outgoing leader, Margaret Ritchie, a perfect example.

We can't continue to tolerate the situation where elected representatives do two full-time jobs in a half-baked fashion, rather than doing one properly.

Northern Ireland's particularly poor record on double-jobbing is a throwback to the bad days and a type of politics which should be in the past.

The public deserves better service from its politicians.

The Standards Committee recommends parties take action to stop double-jobbing themselves.

Unfortunately, the Stormont parties did pledge to end it, but after the electioneering ended they carried on regardless.

The public don't appreciate being taken for fools and if the parties can't be trusted, as the committee observes, there may be no option but to legislate.

JULIAN ROBERTSON

Northern Ireland Conservatives

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