“New Tory DWP minister claimed he had ‘experience’ of zero-hour contracts – as a £250-an-hour BARRISTER”

“A Tory who said he had ‘experience’ of zero-hour contracts as a £250-an-hour BARRISTER has landed a job in the welfare department.

Guy Opperman made the astonishing comment in a House of Commons debate in 2013 when quizzed on the perils of insecure work.

Theresa May has now promoted the MP to a junior role in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in her reshuffle.

As pensions and financial inclusion minister, his job will include steering the Tory manifesto pledge to slash winter fuel payments for all but the poorest pensioners.

Mr Opperman made the remark during a debate on zero-hour contracts in October 2013.

He said: “As a barrister, I spent two and a half years without a contract.

“With respect, I therefore suggest I do have some experience of that, with no contract whatsoever.”

He argued MPs should only be against “inequitable and exploitative zero-hours contracts”, not try to ban the type of work outright.

The register of MPs’ interests says Mr Opperman was normally paid between £100 and £250 an hour for his work as a barrister, before he joined the House of Commons in 2010.

The number of zero hour contracts has soared in recent years and stands at more than 900,000.”