Former ministers in PR jobs focus of Mirror 'gravy train' front page

Former government ministers who now work in PR have been put under the spotlight in a story in the Daily Mirror that claims they are riding a 'Whitehall gravy train'.

front-page Mirror article under the headline 'All aboard Cam's £1m gravy train' today reports that 25 ministers from the coalition government are now making in some cases thousands of pounds a day by working as directors, advisers or board chairmen, in "businesses they used to govern".

Among those identified by the newspaper include former pensions minister Steve Webb, who is now director of policy and comms at Royal London; former health minister Paul Burstow, who joined MHP last September as an adviser and former energy secretary Ed Davey, who last week also joined MHP in a part-time senior adviser role.

Despite the revelations being described as a "scandal" by the paper, the story also clarifies that "they [ex-ministers] have broken no rules and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing".

Gareth Evans, head of corporate affairs at Royal London, told PRWeek: "Steve Webb has a very wide remit - he won’t be lobbying the Government. Obviously he has an insight into the pensions market but he will not be active in that market."

MHP has declined to comment on the story – but at the time of Davey's appointment had released a statement saying the appointment was made "following receipt of full Cabinet Office approval".

The statement also said: "The restrictions placed on ministers are well known, and we can confirm categorically that Ed will not be asked to and will not communicate with ministers or officials on behalf of MHP or any of our clients as required by the Cabinet Office’s rules."

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