Rupa Huq’s Commons Truthfulness Hypocrisy mdi-fullscreen

On July 7, Labour MP Rupa Huq confidently told the Commons, “The Independent reports that the PM and Tory Ministers resigning are entitled to £420,000 of severance pay… Can he confirm now from that dispatch box that they will be forfeiting their right to this? Because we do not reward failure.” Unfortunately for Huq, FullFact has just investigated this figure and concluded it was widely off the mark, by up to 100%. In other words, Huq misled the House…

Huq’s false figure, ironically, had come from the LibDems, who then fed it to The Independent, and was then quoted by Rupa in the Commons. How did the LibDems – who have now accepted to FullFact that the estimate was not correct – get it so wrong?

Primarily, they included PPSs, who are unpaid, and therefore entitled to a grand total of zero severance pay. Some ministers were also calculated under the wrong pay band, with Neil O’Brien and Jo Churchill being listed as Ministers of State rather than Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State – the former being entitled to a thousand or so more sterling upon leaving office. The LibDems’ new figure, which Full Fact broadly agrees with, is half that Rupa Huq proclaimed to the Commons: £245,487…

This all poses some awkwardness for Huq, who has spent years accusing Boris of lying to the Commons. In October 2020 she tweeted the PM had “blatantly barefaced lied to the House of Commons” over TfL. In April 2022 she tweeted Boris had “lied and lied to Parliament”. In January she said “He’s lied to Parliament”. Unfortunately for Rupa, Labour’s stitch-up Privileges Committee has now confirmed that intent is broadly irrelevant to the issue of whether one misleads the House. Guido hopes for a correction of the record as soon as possible…

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