POLITICS

Esther McVey Given Top Quango Job With £32k Salary For 60 Days Work By Her Old Tory Colleagues

23/11/2015 15:52 GMT | Updated 25/11/2015 11:59 GMT
LEON NEAL via Getty Images
Former Minister for the Disabled Esther McVey poses for pictures outside 10 Downing Street in London, on October 7, 2013. McVey replaces Mark Hoban as Employment Minister as a government reshuffle began Monday. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Ex-Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey has been handed a top job by her old Conservative pals – along with salary of £32,000 for just 60 days work a year.

Ms McVey, who was booted out of her Wirral West seat by voters in May, has been appointed Chairman of the British Transport Police Authority and took up her post last week.

Her payment of £32,000 for just 60 days work is the equivalent of £210,000 a year for a full-time post.

According to the British Transport Police Authority website, all appointments to the board are signed off by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, leading one Labour MP to make accusations of "jobs for the girls".

The website also says members of the body are “required to have knowledge of a range of views from the rail industry and rail passengers.”

Before entering Parliament in 2010, Ms McVey was a journalist, TV presenter, and businesswoman.

Warely MP John Spellar told the Huffington Post UK: "Clearly the bandwagon of jobs for the boys and girls keeps rolling. One wonders whether this will make it easier for her to get a safe Tory seat."

The role was advertised publicly, but Ms McVey was deemed to be the outstanding candidate.

The Tories hit back at the claim of "jobs for the girls" and a Conservative source said: "The fact that Labour want to undermine and attack someone doing such a vital job shows they will always put our national security second.

"They should support the police rather than resorting to desperate attacks during these times."

Other recent appointments to quangos have come from across the political spectrum, including Labour peer Lord Adonis joining the board of HS2 and the Lib Dem's Baroness Scott reappointed to the board of Harwich Haven Authority.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Esther McVey was chosen on merit following a rigorous selection process, which was chaired by an independent Public Appointments Assessor.

"All candidates were assessed impartially against the full breadth and depth of the requirements of the role. She demonstrated she had the qualities required to be an effective Chair of the British Transport Police Authority.”

Ms McVey was seen as one of the leading cheerleaders of the Government’s welfare clampdown programme, which was spearheaded by her boss at the Department for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith.

In 2014 she claimed there was no link between the rise in foodbank use and the Government’s welfare reforms.

A year before, while serving as Disabilities Minister, she oversaw the closure of the final 92 Remploy factories – which employed disabled people to make products such as wheelchairs and school furniture.

Before her defeat in the election, Ms McVey admitted she wanted to become Prime Minister.