Theresa May accused of buying Tory MPs’ support – nearly half Tory MPs getting pay perks

“Theresa May has been accused of “buying the loyalty” of Tory MPs by paying nine of them about £10,000 a year extra to be party vice-chairmen.
Labour’s Chris Bryant claims the cash, which comes from Conservative Party funds, amounts to “hush money”.

The jobs were handed out to the MPs, including some who had lost ministerial posts, in Mrs May’s reshuffle.

According to The Times, they are being paid varying amounts depending on their past experience.

A Conservative spokesman said: “Our new team of vice chairs bring a diverse range of experience to the party.

“The party has decided to offer some remuneration for these positions, reflecting both the importance of these roles and the commitment expected of them.”
The new vice-chairmen were appointed by Mrs May as part of a shake-up of Conservative central office aimed at attracting more young people and ethnic minority voters to join the party.

Brandon Lewis was installed as the new party chairman, with James Cleverly as his deputy.

The vice-chairmen include junior ministers, such as Chris Skidmore and Marcus Jones, who were sacked in the prime minister’s reshuffle and will, therefore, have lost their ministerial salary of £22,000 a year, which comes on top of their £74,962 MPs’ pay.

The new vice-chairmen come in addition to the party’s existing four vice-chairmen and others given what Chris Bryant described as “semi-government” jobs, such as the 15 MPs acting as trade envoys.

“It has never been done before as far as I am aware,” said Mr Bryant, a former Labour minister, of the new vice-chairmen.

“It is basically a means of keeping them on board and extending the prime minister’s patronage.”

“It means they can be sacked,” he added, if they voted against the government or showed disloyalty.

The size of the so-called “payroll vote” – backbench MPs whose independence is supposedly compromised by being given paid or unpaid roles in government – has been a source of controversy under successive governments.

The Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975 says the maximum number of paid ministerial posts should be 109, with the size of the cabinet limited to 21 ministers.

Prime ministers can also appoint MPs to unpaid roles, such as Parliamentary Private Secretaries, or invite ministers to attend cabinet without being full members – there are six ministers in this category in Mrs May’s new line-up.

The BBC estimates that there 105 Tory MPs – out of a total of 316 – on the “payroll vote,” following Mrs May’s reshuffle, but that is before the new list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries has been released, which could take the total to 150 MPs, nearly half of the Parliamentary party.”

One thought on “Theresa May accused of buying Tory MPs’ support – nearly half Tory MPs getting pay perks

  1. Hell, the Conservative Party can afford to pay 105 MPs £10,000 each – that’s a drop in the ocean when you have 64 ultra-rich businessmen making donations of at least £50,000 (and with several donating several £100k).

    Besides which they are only buying the loyalty of their own MPs – they are, after all, only there to give the government a majority when it comes to division votes, not to represent their constituents i.e. us. (Well, at least that is what I have been taught by our very own MP, Huge Swine who behaves this way.)

    And anyway, we are given the chance to decide who we want to be in government in general elections every 5 years based on extremely slick advertising (often breaking or bending funding rules) which tell us exactly what we need to be told in order to get us to vote Conservative, and we are assured that this is democracy at its finest. And what does it matter if the media (owned by ultra-rich people who support the party that will make them the most money) aids and abets this brainwashing. Who the heck are we to expect to be told the truth in order that we can make a genuinely informed decision, and to expect to be heard in between general elections? Do we really believe that we are living in a genuine democracy or something?

    (Elsewhere in the world there are dictatorships whose “elections” are less biased that ours. And at least they don’t try to pretend that it is a democracy – oh, all right, yes they do try to pretend, but its such a bad pretend that we – and even their own electorate – know its not true. In the UK, we have a far better, far more British, type of pretend which is much more believable. Well done us Brits. Have to be better at things than Johnny Foreigner!! Even if it is just being better at pretending we have a democracy.)


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