A former Treasury aide who was summarily sacked by Dominic Cummings and escorted by police out of Downing Street is to receive tens of thousands of pounds in a settlement over her dismissal.
British taxpayers will have to foot the five-figure bill after the agreement between the government and Sonia Khan, who was Sajid Javid’s media adviser until the dramatic confrontation in No.10.
The payout is believed to be between £50,000 and £100,000, but avoids a potentially explosive tribunal hearing that was brought on grounds of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
Khan’s departure and Boris Johnson’s subsequent decision to take control over key Treasury appointments later led to Javid’s own resignation from the cabinet.
HuffPost UK exclusively broke the news in August 2019 that Cummings had fired Khan, taken her pass from her and got police officers to escort her out of Downing Street.
The PM’s chief adviser accused Khan of leaking government information and having unauthorised contacts with former colleagues, claims which she strenuously denied and for which Cummings appeared to have no evidence.
Backed by the FDA civil service union, she was due to appear at an employment tribunal next month to put her case. Cummings would have faced key questions at the tribunal over his conduct but it will not now go ahead.
In a statement issued by the FDA, Khan said: “Following 14 months of negotiation, I have today reached a settlement with the Treasury, my former employer, and as a result I am no longer pursuing my employment tribunal claim which was due to be heard in London in December.
“I would like to thank the FDA who have supported this action and were instrumental in finding a settlement, alongside their legal advisers Slater and Gordon.
“I would also like to thank the Metropolitan Police Service for their support during intense scrutiny and pressure for myself and my family, and my current employer, Cicero/AMO, for their wholehearted backing in the last year.”
Cummings’ conduct, which appeared to breach rules that only ministers and prime ministers could fire such aides, sparked a widespread backlash within Whitehall.
In a meeting of other special advisers soon after Khan’s sacking, Cummings was reported to have told them: “If you don’t like how I run things, there’s the door. F**k off.”
HuffPost UK understands that the settlement was signed off a fortnight ago and predated the row over Cummings’ ally, communications chief Lee Cain, and the chief adviser’s decision to step down from No.10 by this Christmas.
The Cabinet Office refused to comment on individual personnel matters.