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Dorries pledges to hand back nearly £17,000 mistakenly received as severance pay

28 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Former Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Former Tory MP Nadine Dorries has said she will hand back more than £16,000 she mistakenly received in severance pay for being a Cabinet minister.

Ms Dorries received the money following her tenure as culture secretary under Boris Johnson, but under current rules it should not have been paid.

A departing minister is entitled to three months’ salary in lieu of notice but only those under 65 are eligible.

Ms Dorries turned 65 several months before leaving her Cabinet role.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, the former minister said she had only seen an email about the error on Friday and promised to pay it back “on Monday morning”.

“That means now everybody knows I’m not 49,” she joked.

“I’ll pay it back on Monday morning, there are no details in the email on how to do that but I will, I’m sure, find out. I was gutted.”

Exit payout

As first reported by The Times, Government accounts show she received £16,876 as an exit payout following her tenure under Mr Johnson.

Ms Dorries was MP for Mid Bedfordshire from 2005 to 2023 before she quit in protest at her exclusion from Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list.

Labour has recently pledged to reform ministerial severance pay rules if it wins power in the election this year after it emerged nearly £1 million was spent during last year’s political turmoil.

The Opposition says it would link payouts to time spent in office so that departing ministers get a quarter of their actual earnings over the previous 12 months instead of their final annual salary.

Ministers who leave their job while under investigation for misconduct or a breach of the rules would have their severance suspended too, and quashed if the claims are upheld under the plans.

The Government did not respond to a request for comment but Cabinet Office minister Alex Burghart said earlier this month: “Such payments should not apply where a person has attained the age of 65.

“If a former minister was incorrectly given a severance payment, the relevant department will contact the individual to recover the over-payment.”


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Frank
Frank
1 month ago

This woman supposedly worked in the government, got paid by the taxpayer but worked most of the time doing TV programmes for which she also got paid. This is the sort of person that chases and condemns people on benefits and actively cheated the country herself. But, of course, the law does not apply to them.

Jeff
Jeff
30 days ago

today is the day then. Also said she would resign with immediate effect, and sat in a public committee admitting she shred her Netflix password only to be told by her aid that that was against the T+C and didn’t know how CH4 was funded as the tried to hive it off and had input to the online bill that will be disastrous.

remind why she deserved a wage let alone a severance package (which I find odd is age related, that bit should be a story).

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
30 days ago

Dorries is not worth 17p of anyone’s money, let alone £17K.

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