Six prominent politicians who departed Westminster through the ‘revolving door’

Starmer and Johnson among public servants who failed to consult watchdog before taking lucrative job

The practice of ministers and top officials taking up lucrative roles after leaving government has been a long-standing feature of public life.

In a speech on Thursday, the leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer, will pledge to “restore standards in public life and crack down on cronyism.” However, plans to make it more difficult for former ministers transitioning to the private sector appear to have been scaled back.

Notable Examples of the Revolving Door

  • Boris Johnson: The former prime minister has twice violated the rules that regulate post-government appointments. He failed to seek advice from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before becoming a Daily Mail columnist and a Daily Telegraph columnist.
  • Keir Starmer: When Starmer left his previous role as director of public prosecutions, he did not consult Acoba before taking up a consultancy position at Mishcon de Reya. As a former senior civil servant, he was required to consult Acoba within two years of departure.
  • George Osborne: The former chancellor faced criticism for accepting the editorship of the Evening Standard without clearance from Acoba. He also held multiple private sector jobs within five years of leaving office, including a lucrative role with BlackRock.
  • George Eustice: After his time as environment minister, Eustice established a company offering advice on farming technology and the water sector. Acoba warned him about the potential risks related to government insights and unfair access for his clients.
  • Philip Hammond: Acoba accused the former chancellor of breaching rules when he approached a senior Treasury official on behalf of OakNorth bank. He had been criticized by the chairman of Acoba for his actions.

Other examples of former Conservative cabinet ministers failing to consult Acoba include Nadine Dorries, Priti Patel, and Matt Hancock.

Furthermore, politicians from the New Labour era like Patricia Hewitt, David Blunkett, Alan Milburn, John Hutton, and John Reid also took paid roles related to their government work.

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