Matt Hancock looks set to turn down a £16,000 golden goodbye after he resigned in disgrace for breaking Covid rules.
It’s understood the former Health Secretary intends to reject the exit payment, after Labour said taking it would be “disgusting”.
Mr Hancock has not, however, made a public statement about rejecting the money. The public may only have final confirmation when Department of Health accounts are published in summer 2022.
Mr Hancock finally resigned on Saturday night, two days after learning he had been caught on CCTV in a passionate clinch with his mistress.
But Labour ’s Lucy Powell said the public would be “appalled” he will now be given a £16,000 “golden goodbye” – after months of criticism over his handling of the pandemic including the PPE scandal and sending Covid OAPs to care homes.
Ministers under 65 who leave their office – whether sacked or resigning – are entitled to a quarter of their annual salary under the 1991 Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act.
The salary for a Secretary of State is £67,505 according to latest figures, which would in theory lead to a payout of £16,876 for 42-year-old Mr Hancock.
Incredibly, the law hands ministers three months’ pay as an exit package, even if they take another ministerial job three and a half weeks after their exit.
Mr Hancock loses the £67,505 salary for being a Secretary of State but keeps his MP’s additional wage of £81,932.
Ms Powell said: “I think to find out that he’s now going to get thousands of pounds as severance payment – for frankly being caught on the job while he was on the job – I think would be pretty disgusting to most people and we will be asking the PM not to give him that.”
Meanwhile Labour demanded a probe into ministers using private email addresses to dodge scrutiny, after it emerged Mr Hancock had conducted official business on gmail.
Government guidelines say ministers should use only official email accounts to maintain transparency.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has written to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham asking for an investigation.
She told them: “The buck doesn’t stop with Hancock and this matter is not closed.
“This Government is rotten to its core. We need to know how much business is being conducted in secret.”
Cabinet minister Robert Buckland today admitted the use of private e-mail is a security risk, adding: “That is why it is important to use the systems we are provided with.
“Anything that is very sensitive, I can assure you is, is not viewed on a for that very sensitive documents are regarded in the old-fashioned way, that is the right thing to do.”
The dad-of-three Mr Hancock is said to be “setting up home” with Ms Coladangelo, 43 – who is married to businessman Oliver Tress.
It was reported Mr Hancock told wife Martha their marriage was over on Thursday and that she had believed their 15-year marriage was “happy” and “stable” before the bombshell.
Mr Hancock faces claims he took his lover on a G7 trip to Oxford on June 3 which involved a luxury hotel stay paid for with taxpayer cash.
A Cabinet source said: “Did he disclose this to the PM? If it was shown he was s****ing on the taxpayer he had to go.”
Furious Tories may even choose to deselect married 42-year-old West Suffolk MP Mr Hancock at the next election.
Labour leader Keir Starmer added: “The Prime Minister should have sacked him.
“Yet again Boris Johnson was too slow, too weak and didn’t show leadership. When the many who have made sacrifices in this pandemic see this, what they see is one rule for them and another for those close to Government.”
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Boris Johnson should have had the guts, the spine, the awareness, the judgment, to sack him on Friday.”