A Tory minister who quit their cabinet job just 36 hours after being appointed is entitled to receive a severance package of three months’ pay worth nearly £ 17,000.
Michelle Donelan was appointed as the new education secretary on Tuesday night, after her predecessor Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to chancellor.
However, as Johnson’s position became increasingly untenable as more MPs quit their ministerial roles, Donelan resigned from a new job just two days later.
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Despite being in the role for only 36 hours, Donelan – the MP for Chippenham – is still entitled to three months’ pay under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, which amounts to £ 16,876.25 in total.
Not bad for less than two days of work.
Donelan has since pledged to donate the payout to charity, as she tweeted: “If this is the case I shall be donating it in full to a local charity.”
But Donelan isn’t the only one who is entitled to severance pay as over 59 MPs who quit their ministerial jobs in a bid to remove Johnson from office are in line for a paycheck – costing the taxpayer £ 420,000 altogether, The Independentreported.
After he resigned today, Johnson himself qualifies for an £ 18,860 payout, while Tamworth MP Chris Pincher – who is at the center of the government crisis over how his alleged behavior was handled – can be handed £ 7,920 for quitting his role as deputy chief whip .
Questions were raised around these payouts by Labor MP Rupa Huq who said: “At the same time we’ve got a government gripped by paralysis, and we have a cost of living crisis.”
She then asked paymaster general Michael Ellis to “confirm now from that despatch box” whether Johnson and Tory ministers will “forfeit their right” to severance pay.
“Because we don’t reward failure,” she said.
In response, Ellis told the Ealing Central and Acton MP that “Matters such as pay and remuneration are set in statute and not a matter for me,” in reference to the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act of 1991.
So he didn’t deny that Donelan and fellow resigned colleagues will receive the money.
The Liberal Democrats have also piled pressure on Johnson and ministers to “hand back their lavish payoffs so the money can go to those who really need it.”
While Donelan has said she will donate her severance pay to a local charity, we’ll have to wait and see if Johnson and the other 58 MPs who are eligible for this money will follow suit.
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