Double-jobbing row rumbles on

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East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs and East Antrim MP and MLA Sammy Wilson have clashed over the issue of double-jobbing.

Mr Beggs, who is the UUP’s Westminster candidate for East Antrim, has vowed to stand down as an MLA if elected to Westminster.

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs. INCT 17-704-CON

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs. INCT 17-704-CON

He says that politicians such as Mr Wilson, who has continued to hold the role of MLA while MP for East Antrim and is seeking re-election, are “part-time MPs.”

Mr Beggs commented: “There remain several double jobbing MPs or MLAs who can attend the Assembly on a Monday and Tuesday.

“Two DUP MPs also attend the Social Development Committee on a Thursday.

“This means that they are part-time MPs, only able to attend Westminster on a Wednesday.”

However, Mr Wilson responded that his roles as an MLA and MP were complementary, and that he had an above-average record of speaking at Westminster.

He commented: “Mr Beggs should look at his own record for double-jobbing as he is a part-time farmer as well as an MLA, which is not complementary.

“A lot of an MP’s work is in the constituency, and whether it is as an MLA or an MP that work is still being done.

“I also held the position of Minister.”

When asked by the Times whether he would relinquish his role as MLA if re-elected to Westminster, Mr Wilson replied: “I will make my mind up at the time of the Assembly elections.

“At this stage I will still continue as an MLA and if elected will serve to the best of my ability of an MP.”