politics

One in four Tory MPs who left Commons since 2017 given cushy public appointments


One in four Tory MPs who lost or gave up their Commons seats since 2017 were handed cushy public appointments, the Mirror can reveal.

Labour said the disclosure shows the Greensill scandal is “just the tip of the iceberg”.

Some 25 former Conservative MPs were given jobs as advisors or put in charge of Government programmes after they lost seats or stood down in the 2017 and 2019 elections.

That’s more than a quarter of the 94 Tories who left the Commons in the 2017 and 2019 elections.

They include Andrew Bingham, the ex-High Peak MP who lost his seat in 2017, who was made Head of the Government Car service, a role which can carry a salary of more than £70,000.

Andrew Tyrie, the former Chichester MP who chaired Parliament’s Liaison Committee, went on to chair the Competition and Markets Authority, a job salaried at up to £130,000, before stepping down in September.



Lord Tyrie, who went on to chair the Competition and Markets Authority
Lord Tyrie, who went on to chair the Competition and Markets Authority

And ex-Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, who stood down in 2019 was this year appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Cuba, a role which commands a salary of up to £117,000.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “Sir George has a wealth of international and government experience that he will bring to this role.

“Political appointments are permitted under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. It is not unusual to make political appointments in the diplomatic service.”

Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Fleur Anderson MP said: “That so many former Conservative MPs have cashed in from government, shows us how the Greensill scandal is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tory sleaze: it’s one rule for them, another for everyone else.”

Of the 25 former MPs, six were made Special Advisers to government departments – including the Treasury, the Brexit Department, the Cabinet Office and Number 10.



Andrew Bingham, now head of the Government Car Service
Andrew Bingham, now head of the Government Car Service

Two were made non-executive directors of public bodies.

And in two further high profile cases, departing cabinet ministers Zack Goldsmith who lost his seat and Nicky Morgan who stepped down as an MP – were reinstalled as ministers in the House of Lords.

At the time, a Downing Street spokesman said: “Zac Goldsmith was doing an excellent and committed job in cabinet, dealing with really important issues, and he will now be able to get on with that work and carry on delivering.”



George Hollingbery, formerly a Tory MP, now our man in Havana
George Hollingbery, formerly a Tory MP, now our man in Havana

Also on the list is former Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton, who now chairs the Office for Students and earns £59,000.

And former Tory chairman Patrick McLoughlin, who was an MP for 33 years and held a number of ministerial roles, was made chair of Visit Britain, the British tourist authority.



Former Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton, now Chair of the Office for Students
Former Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton, now Chair of the Office for Students

After standing down at the 2019 election, former Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton was made Chair of the Health and Safety Executive last July.

Ms Anderson added: “We’ve been raising the alarm bell for months as contract cronyism and a jobs-for-the-boys culture has run rampant.

“It’s time for the Government to overhaul its approach on transparency and lobbying, and start playing by the rules of common decency and fairness.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Public Appointments are made in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments through a fair and open process, which is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

“Being a former MP or Political affiliation is not a bar to holding a public appointment so long as the individual acts in the national interest.”





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