EXCL Stephen Crabb received £17k golden goodbye after quitting Cabinet over sexting scandal
A former Conservative leadership hopeful received a £17,000 golden goodbye after quitting the Cabinet following a sexting scandal, PoliticsHome can reveal.
Stephen Crabb stood down as Work and Pensions Secretary as Theresa May put together her new ministerial team after becoming Prime Minister last July.
His resignation followed newspaper allegations the married father-of-two sent WhatsApp messages of a sexual nature to a young woman during the EU referendum campaign.
PoliticsHome understands Mr Crabb may have been in line for the job of Health Secretary but decided to move away from front line politics after the scandal.
According to the Department of Work and Pensions annual accounts, he pocketed £16,877 in “severance payments” when he quit.
There is no suggestion that he was not entitled to the pay-off.
Announcing his resignation last year he said: "Over the last two years I have had the huge privilege to serve in the Cabinet.
"After careful reflection I have informed the Prime Minister today that, in the best interests of my family, I cannot be part of her government at this time.
"I am grateful to my whole team for their hard work and encouragement. I look forward to supporting the government's One Nation vision from the backbenches."
In an interview in December he said parliament was a "killer" for relationships and he was "rebuilding" at home.
Mr Crabb contested the Tory leadership after David Cameron quit in the wake of the EU referendum result, but he pulled out after coming fourth in the first round of voting.
The devout Christian, who put his family values at the centre of his leadership campaign, held the text conversation with a woman in her twenties who was initially a friend.
However, the chat took on a sexual nature after 18 months of communication.
In a late-night exchange in June 2016 the 43-year-old told her he wanted to kiss her “everywhere” and asked her to call him.
In a message on the eve of the EU vote, he described a sex act he would like to perform, prompting her to ask what he was going to do about “your downst[ai]r situation”.
Elsewhere in the DWP accounts former pensions minister Baroness Altman was handed a £19,700 golden goodbye while ex-junior minister Justin Tomlinson pocketed £5,600.
Stephen Crabb's office was contacted by PoliticsHome but failed to respond by the time of publication.
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