Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:56 pm on 6 February 2024.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister without Portfolio 3:56, 6 February 2024

From a sedentary position, I get £1 million quoted at me. I remember, although maybe the right hon. Lady does not, that it was over £1 million in 2010 when Labour lost office, and that is quite a long time ago.

It is for these reasons that the Government do not currently intend to reform severance pay for departing Ministers, although I am happy to review it, as I mentioned earlier. The current system respects the essential constitutional principle that Ministers serve at the discretion of the Prime Minister and that it is right to provide some protections associated with the loss of ministerial office. The principle has applied, as I said, to all Governments since the Act was passed in 1991, and we need to be careful not to change policy on the basis of exceptions that will occasionally occur under Governments of all forms.