Former Ipswich MP Ben Gummer lands two new jobs

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Former Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has started two new roles after taking time out following his election defeat in June last year.

Mr Gummer, who unexpectedly lost his seat to Labour’s Sandy Martin, sought the advice of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments late last year.

After MPs leave parliament there are certain rules they must abide by when they take on new roles to ensure they cannot unfairly lobby government or reveal policy plans to companies who might benefit.

He asked if he could start work as a fellow of practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and as a senior adviser on a research project for management consultant McKinsey & Company.

His appointments were approved and he started work last month.

The university job is expected to only take up half a day each week and will see Mr Gummer – who was the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General – teaching and researching government reform.

His role for McKinsey is expected to last six months and will focus on producing a body of research on the efforts of governments to transform their administrations.

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Mr Gummer explained to the committee that he did not expect the project to involve contact with government but said if required other members of the team would carry it out so not to break the tight rules governing ex MPs.

The committee said of the McKinsey work: “The risk that this appointment could unfairly advantage McKinsey is low. Mr Gummer’s role is confined to a discrete project; he has undertaken not to lobby Government; expects to have no contact with Government; and the Cabinet Office has confirmed that he had no access to any commercially sensitive information about competitors or unannounced government policy that might unfairly advantage the company.”

Mr Gummer was advised however that he must not “draw on (disclose or use for the benefit of himself or the persons or organisations to which this advice refers) any privileged information available to him as a minister”.

He was also warned that he was not allowed to lobby the UK Government until two years after his final day as a minister.

Mr Gummer was contacted but did not want to comment.