Outrage over 'golden goodbye' for Gavin Williamson after Huawei leak sacking

Posted On: 
2nd May 2019

Theresa May has been accused of "rewarding" Gavin Williamson after it emerged he will receive a pay-off following his sacking over the Huawei leak.

Current rules allow departing ministers to receive a severance payment equating to three months of their annual salary
Credit: 
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Downing Street confirmed that the former Defence Secretary - who was sacked by the Prime Minister on Wednesday - is entitled to the same amount as any minister who leaves the Government.

Labour had called for the taxpayer-funded payment - estimated to be around £17,000 - to be withheld given the circumstances of his departure.

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Mr Williamson lost his job after being accused of passing on top-secret information about plans to give the Chinese firm a role in the development of the UK's 5G network.

Theresa May asked Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill to launch an investigation after her plans, which she revealed at a meeting of the National Security Council, were reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Current rules allow departing ministers to receive a severance payment equating to three months of their annual salary.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "In relation to severance packages, there are longstanding rules in place. There is no change to these.

"The rules are longstanding and are very transparent.”

But Labour deputy leader Tom Watson told PoliticsHome: “It is staggering that Theresa May deemed Williamson’s breach of trust and duty so serious that she sacked him yet he is now to be rewarded with a massive pay off.”

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable added: “It is an outrage that Gavin Williamson is to be handed a payoff despite being sacked for gross misconduct. In most professions, that would never be the case.

"There shouldn't be any golden goodbye.

“There should instead be a thorough criminal investigation into breaches of the Official Secrets Act. Nothing less is acceptable."