One minister resigning from Boris Johnson’s Government has vowed to hand her redundancy pay to charity, as the Prime Minister and his former ministers faced calls to reject the hundreds of thousands of pounds their departures will cost the taxpayer.
Michelle Donelan, who quit as education secretary after less than two days in the role, said she would be giving away her resignation pay-out of nearly £17,000.
In response to a tweet that pointed out she was entitled to £16,876.25, she said: “If this is the case I shall be donating it in full to a local charity.”
Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, MPs leaving office are entitled to a quarter of their annual ministerial salary in severance.
More than 50 MPs have resigned from government or party roles since Tuesday night, when the mass exodus was triggered by the resignations from the Cabinet of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid.
That takes the total bill for the taxpayer to £423,000, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats, who urged Mr Johnson and others to forgo the sum.
The Prime Minister is in line for a taxpayer handout of £18,860.
Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “Conservative MPs spent months defending Boris Johnson and failed to get rid of him when they had the chance. The public won’t forgive them for keeping him in place for so long.
Conservative ministers who resigned should do the decent thing and pass up their pay-offs for the good of the countryLib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain
“Now Conservative infighting and sheer incompetence has cost the taxpayer yet more money during this cost-of-living crisis.
“Conservative ministers who resigned should do the decent thing and pass up their pay-offs for the good of the country.”
Labour MP Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton) raised concerns in the Commons about the redundancy pay total, asking Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis: “Can he confirm that they will be forfeiting their right to this, because we do not reward failure?”
Mr Ellis replied: “The matter (Ms Huq) refers to is set in statute so it’s a matter for the law, and that law would have been passed by this House.”
The Cabinet Office was contacted for comment.