‘What about Ian Blackford?!’ SNP and Tory MSP come to blows during angry MPs sleaze debate

Kaukab Stewart and Jeremy Balfour clash on MP’s second jobs

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Kaukab Stewart appeared on BBC Debate Night where she furiously condemned the Conservative Party following recent sleaze scandals which she says shows a problem with Tory “power and patronage”. Ms Stewart demanded there was a review into MPs’ second jobs as she felt the role of a politician needed an individual’s undivided attention and should not be seen as a money-making position. But the SNP MSP was put on the spot after Jeremy Balfour wanted to know whether she would say the same thing to one of her leaders, Ian Blackford.

Speaking on BBC Debate Night, Ms Stewart was furious at Douglas Ross after it was revealed he did not declare outside income.

Mr Ross was the referee for 16 football games for the SFA between October and January 2021 and made £6,700.

The Scottish Conservative leader is the MSP for the Highlands and Islands but also an MP for Moray.

MSPs who are also MPs get a top-up salary of £21,000 a year but The Herald reports Mr Ross failed to declare this.

Ms Stewart was angry at the Conservative’s sleaze and called for a crackdown on paid MP outside interests.

She told the programme: “I’ve listened to the points made that you will put off loads of people who earn lots of money.

“I tell you, £30,000 which was overlaid, the average wage is around £25,000 a year.

“So people in the audience, most of you, your salary and £5,000 on top of that has gone missing.”

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Ms Stewart said she would accept a simple apology but stated the other accusations of sleaze engulfing the Conservatives showed there was a bigger issue surrounding privilege and corruption.

Mr Balfour could be heard interjecting in the background and asked what about Ian Blackford who also has outside interests.

According to the Scottish Sun, Mr Blackford stayed on as a chairman of a “funeral plans fund” and a telecom firm.”

He was also confronted with reports he earned £3,247 for eight hours a week of work every three months in his early years as an MP.

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Mr Blackford said he entered Parliament with “a number of non-executive directorships” which he has since left behind.

Ms Stewart said it was “up to them” if they want to give up their outside roles before being asked if Mr Blackford should have given up his outside roles before he entered the Commons.

She added: “I’m glad that he’s done it good for him.

“Because, you know, from my point of view, it’s a public service. We need to stop seeing it as a money-making thing.”

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