Dominic Raab joins Boris Johnson and Steve Baker in accepting taxpayer-funded payoffs for quitting; New PM sensitive that he is not loved; and David Cameron is reading Why Nations Fall.
Brexit quitters quids in
Outside of the Brextremist wonderland, when people choose to quit their jobs they seldom, if ever, trouser a pay-off. That will no doubt come as news to Dominic Raab, who received a cheque for £16,876 in “redundancy pay” from the taxpayer after he exited of his own volition the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Official figures just released show that there was no hard exit either from the department for Steve Baker, who picked up £5,594 after he quit in July 2018. In addition, four special advisers picked-up £60,500 between them. Frustratingly for the 70-year-old David Davis, who quit the benighted department in July 2018, he couldn’t take so much as a penny as ministers over 65 do not qualify for severance terms.
Last month I revealed how Boris Johnson also accepted £16,876 in ‘redundancy pay’ when he walked out of the Foreign Office in a strop last year – plus a further £48,000 for a couple of his SPADs.
In politics, nothing succeeds like failure these days and no doubt all of these selfless public servants will all be in line for still more pay-offs before too long…
Tough love Boris Johnson was not happy when I disclosed just after he had moved into 10 Downing Street that the Metropolitan Police had put in place security arrangements for him that are unprecedented for a prime minister in modern times.
“What people like you don’t understand is that the public love Boris and you will see in the days ahead how he relishes the chance to get out among the people,” one of his aides got in touch to tell me. “He has never in his life shied away from debate even with his fiercest critics.”
The peoples of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who only got a chance to boo Johnson from a distance as he sped by in a convoy of Range Rovers on his UK tour, might beg to differ. Likewise, the constituents of Brecon and Radnorshire, where he chose not to go into the town centre even though a big crowd had gathered in the rain after being told to expect a walkabout. Even at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire he had to be helicoptered in and out swiftly and the locals – who had turned out at some personal risk to add their own boos to the international chorus – were once again kept at a distance.
I am however a fair-minded journalist and if the Downing Street press office wish me to publish a correction I am happy to do so.
Elite service The Daily Telegraph harrumphed the other day that Gina Miller is a symbol of a “self-appointed, self-aggrandising, out-of-touch elite”.
I wonder how many people who are really “out-of-touch” ever had to secure a job at the age of 14, working four days a week for £10 a day at a hotel in Eastbourne?
“Some rooms were left in a simply disgusting state, but it was my job to make them look perfect for the new guests, sometimes in a matter of 20 minutes,” Gina recalled in an interview with the Guardian of her challenging early life. “I cleaned toilets, lugged about a vacuum cleaner so heavy my arm ached at the end of the week, and emptied dustbins full of goodness knows what.”
Bleak house Samantha Cameron and her sister Emily Sheffield gave a peculiarly unilluminating joint interview to the Sunday Times over the weekend. They were photographed sitting in front of a bookshelf in the west London home that Samantha shares with her husband David, the much-reviled former prime minister.
The books gave an insight into the dark place where the Camerons now are psychologically. There was a biography of Hitler, Hung Together – Adam Boulton and Joey Jones’ account of the coalition years – Why Nations Fail, and, poignantly, Drinking for Chaps, which includes advice about how to handle hang-overs. No doubt the most depressing book of all time will be up there too when it finally comes out in the autumn – David Cameron’s less-than-eagerly-awaited biography.