British taxpayers funded £850,000-worth of golden goodbyes during Theresa May’s chaotic premiership, a POLITICO investigation has unveiled.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds was paid out in severance to ministers who quit their jobs, were fired or who lost their seats at the 2017 snap general election, along with their numerous advisers.
Analysis of departmental figures has revealed that 40 ministers who departed government were paid at least £361,463 during the tumultuous three years May was in power.
That includes eight secretaries of state such as Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab (who got almost £17,000 each) and Esther McVey (who is now a minister of state under Johnson’s cabinet), who all resigned in protest last year over Brexit.
In total, 18 ministers who were eligible for severance pay quit or were sacked over the government’s approach to Brexit, leading to payouts totalling £164,300.
Meanwhile, four members of the House of Lords who served as ministers resigned, getting more than £71,000 between them.
The Cabinet Office paid out almost £310,000 to 14 special advisers in the 2017-2018 financial year alone.
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jo Platt has urged them to pay the cash back.
Speaking to POLITICO, she said: “Rarely has failure been so richly rewarded as it was in Theresa May’s government.
“In no other walk of life would people be rewarded for breaking the rules, resigning for personal ambition or getting sacked for incompetence and repeated failure.
“The fact that so many of these people are back in the Cabinet less than a year after receiving handsome payouts stinks.
“It’s one rule for the Tories and another for everyone else. Every one of these ministers should pay back every penny they took from the public purse.”