I have a feeling that the Labour Party will have a good try here: also, that they\’ll not get very far:
A series of severance payments were made to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson for several months after he began working for the Tories, according to the BBC.
The instalments totalled the full entitlement under his two-year contract as editor of the now defunct tabloid which was published by New International, the BBC claimed.
His severance package also included continued access healthcare as well as keeping hold of his company car, the corporation said.
At first blush, so, he had severance payments? We can find examples of this all over the public sector can\’t we? MPs get them when they lose an election, Ministers when they lose office and there are any number of council fat cats who get £100k, £200k in redundancy while they pick up another job or a rich consultancy.
However, the killer to my mind is Peter Mandelson. He was receiving payments from the European Union while he was a government minister. You know, a minister of our government in the pay of a foreign government?
Yes, sure, it was part of his severance package, he got, for the three years after he stopped being a Commissioner, his pay topped up from whatever it was to whatever it would have been had he remained a Commissioner. So while he was on £112,000 as a Minister in the Lords he got a futher €75,000 or so a year out of the EU.
This despite the rules which state that a Minister should have no outside income, except in very specific circumstances. And if he does have such, the Minister should recuse himself from even discussion, let alone decision mkaing, on matter affecting where he gets that outside income from.
So, political advisor gets severance package from former employers. Minister getting severance package from foreign government while being a minister.
Going to be tough to attack the first without being attacked on the second really.
If I were in the Tory press office that\’s what I\’d be snarling to people anyway.