Boris Johnson has been accused of showing ‘two fingers to democracy’ after announcing Nicky Morgan will carry on as culture secretary, despite her quitting the Commons at the general election.
No 10 said the former MP for Loughborough would be made a life peer and would answer questions in the House of Lords.
There were signs that her appointment may only be temporary pending a full-scale Cabinet reshuffle expected in February.
But it still drew a furious response from opposition MPs, with former shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant saying it “stinks”.
“You abandon your constituents, eschew the tough work of representing a constituency but remain in the cabinet. That really is two fingers up to democracy,” he said.
His fellow Labour MP Jo Stevens said it was “absolutely disgraceful” MPs would not be able to scrutinise or challenge her on the performance of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The Liberal Democrats’ culture spokeswoman Layla Moran said the appointment showed why reform of the Lords was needed while the SNP’s Pete Wishart accused the Tories of showing “disdain for democracy”.
“It seems as though the Tories don’t even need to bother standing in an election and be held to account by the public in order to keep the perks of ministerial posts,” he said.
Members of the House of Lords do not receive a salary, but Baroness Nicky Morgan is likely to still take home a large paycheque after her reappointment to cabinet.
The former Loughborough MP is resuming the role of secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) after being made a life peer.
A minster of state with a seat in the House of Lords is entitled to £81,485 each year, according to government figures from April.
The figure for a secretary of state sitting in the Lords was not given in the April 2019 figures, but by comparison, their Commons counterparts are entitled to £37,000 more than their minister colleagues – £34,087 compared to £71,090.
Members of the Lords also get an expenses allowance when they attend parliament.
They can choose to receive £305 per day, plus travel expenses alongside access to subsidised restaurants. Alternatively, they can claim £150 attendance per day instead.