Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 3:01 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General 3:01, 6 Chwefror 2024

My hon. Friend is spot on. For those on the Government Benches muttering about claiming, it does not really matter whether the money was claimed, or if it was given to someone and not given back—the point is that the money was still pocketed by the right hon. Member for Great Yarmouth, and no one was expecting the rules to be used in that way. That is the point of this debate.

The payments were extended to other Ministers in 1991 based on a recommendation by the then Top Salaries Review Board, which commanded broad cross-party support. The only change from the previous rules was to remove the two-year qualifying limit, but it is worth noting that in every debate that preceded the 1991 legislation, MPs remained clear that these payments were intended for the benefit of long-serving Ministers, who were having to make what Geoffrey Howe called

“an abrupt and significant financial adjustment…on relinquishing ministerial office”.—[Official Report, 17 January 1990;
Vol. 165, c. 311.]