Golden Exits: Ousted Tory Ministers Claim £1 Million in Payouts Amidst Boris Johnson and Liz Truss Turmoil
Amidst the tumultuous reigns of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, a staggering revelation unfolds as nearly £1 million was disbursed to departing ministers, according to a thorough analysis. Hidden within the Department of Health and Social Care's accounts, figures expose the compensation trail, with Sir Sajid Javid notably receiving £16,876 for his pivotal role in triggering Boris Johnson's departure from No10. Sir Sajid joined the ranks of 20 Cabinet Ministers benefiting from substantial severance payouts, culminating in a hefty £933,086, as asserted by the Labour party.
Surprisingly, some recipients of these "loss of office" payments later returned to government positions mere months after their departure. Astonishingly, last summer unveiled that taxpayers' funds amounted to £2.9 million in payouts to special advisers during 2022/23, bringing the overall cost, including their superiors, to a staggering £3.83 million. Even Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, despite their ignominious exits, claimed payments of £18,660 each. Other prominent figures such as Michael Gove, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Grant Shapps, Dame Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, and Kwasi Kwarteng also found themselves beneficiaries of these controversial payouts.
The Mirror further exposed a bureaucratic blunder in the Cabinet Office, mistakenly awarding nearly £5,600 of taxpayers' money to ex-MP Peter Bone, who had been sacked as a minister. Adding to the chaos, three other ministers—Maggie Throup, Sir David Evennett, and Baroness Stedman-Scott—were erroneously granted compensation based on their ages, accumulating a total bill of £33,107.
Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry sharply criticized the situation, decrying it as the 'wages of chaos' that burden British taxpayers with the fallout of ministerial mismanagement. She emphasized the moral reprehensibility of diverting over £900,000 in severance payments to ministers who, according to Thornberry, exacerbated the economic struggles faced by families.
Despite the controversy, Downing Street asserted that there are no imminent plans to revise the rules governing ministerial payouts, leaving the aftermath of chaos imprinted on the financial landscape.
In response to the growing scrutiny over severance payments to departing ministers, Rishi Sunak's official spokesperson addressed the issue, stating, "There are well-established rules governing severance payments, and ministers who lose their roles but are subsequently reappointed within a specific timeframe may not be eligible for such payouts. These guidelines are clearly outlined and, to my knowledge, have been agreed upon through parliamentary channels. Currently, there are no indications of any plans to alter this established approach.
In conclusion, as the controversy surrounding severance payments to departing ministers unfolds, Rishi Sunak's official spokesperson emphasized the existence of long-established rules governing such payouts. The spokesperson clarified that ministers who lose their roles but are reappointed within a specified timeframe may not be eligible for severance payments, a provision that has been agreed upon through parliamentary processes. Despite the ongoing debate, there are no immediate plans to alter this established approach, leaving the intricate landscape of ministerial severance payments within the bounds of existing regulations.