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Keir Starmer turns down law firm job offer

2 min read

Keir Starmer has turned down an offer to take up a second job at a leading London law firm. 

The Shadow Brexit Secretary was in talks with Mishcon de Reya about a consulting role with the company.

After criticism from the Conservatives, who accused him of "hypocrisy", Mr Starmer announced he would not take up the job.

In a statement this morning, the former director of public prosecutions said: “I am grateful to Mishcon de Reya for discussing a possible role advising the Mishcon Academy with me, but, given my other commitments, I have decided not to further the discussions.”

The Holborn and St Pancras MP worked as an advisor to the academy before he joined the Shadow Cabinet last year.

Mishcon de Reya represented Gina Miller in the court case which ultimately forced the Government to pass a bill to trigger the Article 50 process of leaving the European Union.  

When the reports of the offer emerged, Conservative MP James Cleverly wrote to Mr Starmer suggesting it would amount to a conflict of interest with his role as Labour’s Brexit spokesman.

Mr Cleverly said: “Mishcon de Reya have been an active participant in legal cases surrounding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

“The firm stressed that the result of the referendum was not legally binding and supported anonymous claimants in their legal efforts last year...

“In your position as the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union you will be personally involved with drafting and speaking on legislative amendments on the EU Withdrawal Bill. You have also recently been made a member of the Privy Council, which will allow you privileged access to documents and information.  

“Members of the public will rightly detect a conflict of interest between your paid work for a law firm and your important role on the front bench.”

Mr Cleverly also pointed out that in 2015 Labour had proposed a ban on MPs holding second jobs.

“Your actions will be seen as hypocritical and your party states one position but allows its own MPs to do another,” he added.

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