A list of severance payouts to government ministers and advisors after recent elections

Chris McQuade

OBE calls for environment secretary to hand back severence payout

MICHAEL GOVE MP has been criticised for keeping a huge severance pay-out after Theresa May sacked the Brexit leader from his positon as justice secretary before reinstating him in a cabinet reshuffle.

Clare Hepworth OBE took to social media yesterday to vent her frustration about the severance payment made to Gove last year while pointing out his new position in government. She called for Gove to repay the sum he received after he was sacked from May’s cabinet. 



All ministers and government advisors are entitled to the equivalent of three months of their annual salary in ‘severance pay’ should they leave office, except for the prime minister who is not entitled to a severance pay-out as they have a preferential pension arrangement.

Gove received the sum of money when May wielded an axe as she severed ties with the David Cameron-led cabinet.

CommonSpace took a quick look at some of the other payments payed into coffers of party members, who already boasted big salaries or riches raised elsewhere, since Brexit and the General Election in June.

1.) Michael Gove

The former justice secretary was paid £16,877 when the prime minister sacked him from office following her appointment as party leader.

The severance pay was granted before Gove was re-instated as environment minister in June of this year. It has also been reported that Gove collected £150,000 as a columnist in The Times after he was sacked by May.

2.) George ‘The Chancellor’ Osborne

George Osborne was the most high-profile cabinet minister to go under the May cull and he also received £16,877 in severance pay after the Brexit reshuffle.

Osborne is believed to earn around £1m per year and his jobs include editor of the London Evening Standard, honorary professor at the University of Manchester and a consultant for Blackstock where he is said to earn £650, 000 working one day per week.

3.)The prime minister’s former advisors

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were key aids to May in the run up to her shock decision to call a snap General Election in June, and lost their jobs in the wake of the results for the Tories.

Despite only being in their positions for less than one year, they both received £35,000 each in severance pay as special advisors to the government. Part of May’s inner circle, they both resigned days after the election after May lost her majority in the House of Commons.

Timothy and Hill were in receipt of an annual salary of £140, 000 before they left their posts.

4.) Education secretary learns her lesson

Former Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan also received £16,877 when she was sacked from her position in 2016. Replaced by Justine Greening, Morgan was another casualty of May’s reorganisation when she came to power.

Morgan was also minister for women and equalities and she retained her seat in Loughborough in this year’s election. Morgan is said to be against the idea of Brexit and campaigns for the ‘soft’ outcome of Britain leaving the EU.

A quick calculation of the aforementioned cases adds up to £120, 631 at a time when public pay sector salaries is capped and the government continue to implement austerity measures to benefits and public spending. 

Pictures courtesy of UK ParliamentTwitterNumber 10, Birmingham News Room, Policy Exchange, Policy Exchange

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