David Frost handed £26,000 after quitting as UK’s Brexit negotiator – The Guardian

Frost, who quit last December, received taxpayer-funded payout for ‘loss of office’ after nine months as minister
Boris Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator got a more than £26,000 taxpayer-funded payout for stepping down from the government having served as a minister for just nine months, the Guardian can reveal.
David Frost, who quit last December citing concerns about the “direction of travel” of future relations with the EU and making the most of post-Brexit “opportunities”, was given the compensation for “loss of office”.
The Conservative peer was handed a lump sum of £26,090, accounts published by the Cabinet Office in the week before Christmas show.
His ministerial salary, at the annual equivalent of £104,000, was the highest in the department, which he joined in March 2021; this was about 55% more than the ministerial salaries of Michael Gove, Steve Barclay and Alok Sharma at £67,500.
Johnson’s decision to force out then cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, also cost the taxpayer £248,000, according to the documents.
The revelation has led to accusations that the political chaos that plagued Johnson’s government and high turnover of ministers came at taxpayers’ expense.
Frost quit as a minister in December 2021, having made clear his frustrations about tax rises and the government’s “plan B” Covid policy to reintroduce some mandatory measures last winter.
However, he also had to accept concessions over Brexit, with ministers dropping their demand to block the European court of justice from being the ultimate arbiter of trade rules in Northern Ireland and backing away from Frost’s threat to trigger article 16.
Ministers are eligible for a payout equal to a quarter of their salary when they leave office. A torrent of payouts were awarded when several dozen members of Johnson’s government quit in the months leading up to his departure.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the payout for Frost was “the cost of Conservative chaos”.
Highlighting the struggle faced by many given the cost of living crisis and double-digit inflation in the run-up to Christmas, Rayner said the government had “tried to slip this news out”.
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She said it was done “in the hope they don’t notice their money has been handed over to a succession of failed former ministers who have flown out of the revolving door”.
Rayner added: “The Conservative party has given us three leaders and four governments in six months, crashed the economy and then handed us the bill for their own failure.”
Before becoming a minister, Frost was a civil servant who was the UK’s chief negotiator during talks with Brussels over the divorce settlement and then future trade deal. He was contacted for comment.
This article was amended on 19 and 29 December 2022 to clarify an earlier description of David Frost as “the highest-paid minister” in the Cabinet Office: this pertained specifically to his ministerial salary compared with those of colleagues. Ministerial salaries for three of the latter have been included (this is separate from their pay as MPs). Frost’s ministerial salary was about 55% higher than those of the three others, not “nearly double”.


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