Michelle Donelan set to receive near £16K payout for 36 hours as Education Secretary

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Ms Donelan was promoted to her now former role amid a slew of resignations sparked by the resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. However, after just hours in the job, she jumped ship and handed in her resignation to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, it has been claimed Ms Donelan could receive a £16,876.25 payout for her short tenure as Education Secretary.

Ms Donelan has responded to the claims and said she will give the payout to charity.

She said: “If this is the case I shall be donating it in full to a local charity.”

It is an amount which is not far off the average, annual salary of a teaching assistant – about £18,000.

The comments drew ire from some Twitter users who claimed the money should be given back to HM Treasury.

However, others suggested it could be given to a local food bank.

The total amount of severance pay for ministers who resigned, including Mr Johnson, is thought to be as high as £420,000, according to reporting by the Independent.

Ministers are entitled to 25 percent of their annual salary when they resign.

More than 50 ministers and parliamentary private secretaries quit their roles in a bid to oust Mr Johnson from office. He stepped down as Tory leader this morning.

It means infighting within the Conservative Party could land the taxpayer with a huge bill.

The Prime Minister alone is in line for a taxpayer handout of £18,860.

Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “Conservative MPs spent months defending Boris Johnson and failed to get rid of him when they had the chance. The public won’t forgive them for keeping him in place for so long.

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“Now Conservative infighting and sheer incompetence has cost the taxpayer yet more money during this cost-of-living crisis.

“Conservative ministers who resigned should do the decent thing and pass up their pay-offs for the good of the country”.

Ealing Central and Acton MP Dr Rupa Huq challenged the Government over the payout in parliament, asking Paymaster General Michael Ellis MP whether those who resigned would forfeit their right to the money.

She said: “We’ve got a Government gripped by paralysis, and we have a cost of living crisis.

“Can he confirm now from that despatch box that they will be forfeiting their right to this? Because we do not reward failure.”

Mr Ellis replied: “The matter that the honourable lady refers to is in statute so it is a matter for the law and that law would have been passed by this House.”

Meanwhile, Braintree MP James Cleverly has been appointed Education Secretary, moving from his position as Minister of State for Europe and North America.

Greg Clarke has been appointed as the country’s new Levelling Up Secretary, replacing Michael Gove.

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