Pressure on Labor MP to give up law practice

THE upper house MP Adam Searle has been advised to consider the appropriateness of working as a barrister while a senior member of shadow cabinet as the Opposition Leader, John Robertson, ramps up a push to ban his caucus from holding jobs outside Parliament.

Mr Robertson took the proposal to his shadow cabinet on Tuesday, but was rebuffed.

Mr Searle, Labor's deputy leader in the upper house, would be one of the most affected by the proposal as he has continued in private practice since being elected to Parliament in 2011.

At Tuesday's meeting he told Mr Robertson he had an agreement with the NSW Labor Party allowing him to run his practice after becoming an MP. He believed the change would breach that.

It is understood that on Thursday Mr Searle was advised of the view that it was ''probably not feasible'' to continue as deputy if he refused to give up his practice.

It had been suggested that Mr Searle was told to make a decision before the weekend, but sources insisted this was false. Mr Searle declined to comment.

Mr Robertson is expected to announce a range of reforms at a Labor forum in western Sydney on Sunday.

It is anticipated that the ban on external employment will be among them if he can secure support by then.

Mr Robertson argues that the change is needed to ensure his MPs, particularly shadow ministers, are fully focused on their work.

But some MPs have raised concerns about the impact on farmers and questioned whether MPs should be banned from serving on the boards of non-profit organisations.

This story Pressure on Labor MP to give up law practice first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.