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Liz Truss ministers in role for just weeks urged to reject £17k redundancy payouts

Truss cabinet
Truss cabinet

Allies of Liz Truss who were sacked from the Cabinet by Rishi Sunak are being urged to turn down £17,000 redundancy payouts.

Opposition politicians said ministers who were only in their jobs for seven weeks should not accept the severance cash.

Members of the former prime minister’s top team who were booted out in Tuesday’s reshuffle are automatically entitled to the money.

Eight of them had only served in the Cabinet since the start of September and most had no opportunity to enact any real policies.

Government rules state that departing ministers can receive a quarter of their annual salary as a redundancy payment.

The Prime Minister is entitled to £18,860 whilst members of her top team are in line to receive £16,876.25.

Those in line for a payout include Ranil Jayawardena, the former environment secretary, and Chloe Smith, the ex-work and pensions secretary.

Robert Buckland, who was the Welsh secretary, also served just over six weeks under Ms Truss.

Separately, two ministers who were in Boris Johnson’s last Cabinet have returned to their old jobs after the same period away from the top team.

Steve Barclay has come back as Health Secretary, whilst Dominic Raab was reappointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary.

Both have also been urged to give back their severance payments.

Earlier this year Michelle Donelan, who is now the Culture Secretary, set a precedent for forfeiting the redundancy cash.

She asked not to receive it after learning she was automatically eligible despite having served as education secretary for just 36 hours.

'Merry-go-round of resignations'

Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, said: “Yet another parade of Tory ministers is set to walk away with thousands in taxpayers’ money handed out as rewards for their party’s catalogue of failure.

“If they had a shred of decency, they would already have made it clear that they will refuse these payments.

“Why should the public have to pick up the bill for the merry-go-round of resignations caused by the Tories’ revolving door of chaos?

“It's time for the British public to get a proper say on the country's future through a General Election."

Christine Jardine, the Cabinet Office spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats, said: “What staggering unfairness for the ministers who got us into this financial mess to be rewarded with taxpayers’ cash.

“It beggars belief that while families are struggling to pay their bills, many retiring Conservative ministers are set to receive thousands of pounds, some of them after just a few weeks in the job.”

Last week Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, urged Ms Truss not to take the up to £115,000 a year she can claim to run her office as an ex-prime minister.

He said she was “not really entitled to it” given the short period she spent in office and not using the cash would be “the right thing to do”.