Norfolk MP Sir Brandon Lewis has been slammed for receiving more than £33,000 in severance payments - after he quit two cabinet posts in a matter of months.

The Great Yarmouth Conservative MP was branded as "nothing short of a disgrace" by Labour opposition MPs as they singled him out for criticism in the House of Commons.

Labour said Sir Brandon claimed two payments, totalling £33,572, after he resigned as Northern Ireland secretary in July 2022 and, just four months later quit from his post as justice secretary.

He served as Northern Ireland secretary from February 2020 until July 2022, having been appointed by Boris Johnson. He quit when Mr Johnson refused to stand down as prime minister.

His fellow Norfolk MP Liz Truss then appointed him justice secretary in September 2022, but he resigned the following month after she was replaced by Rishi Sunak.

He was entitled to severance pay for both posts. Ministers under the age of 65 receive a loss-of-office payment amounting to a quarter of their ministerial salary if they are not appointed to a new role within three weeks.

Labour had sought to present a Bill to Parliament aiming to change the system after it emerged nearly £1m was spent during the political chaos of 2022.

During that period South West Norfolk MP Ms Truss also qualified to get a £18,660 payment after resigning her short-lived stint as prime minister.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Liz TrussLiz Truss


During a debate in the House of Commons, Labour MP Rachel Hopkins said it was "nothing short of a disgrace" that Sir Brandon had claimed two payments, with the second worth three months' pay after just seven weeks as justice secretary.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: UK Parliament/Jessica TaylorUK Parliament/Jessica Taylor (Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Labour's shadow education minister Matt Western said it was an "outrage".

He added: "What hits home for me is the fact that the payment of some £33,570 made to Sir Brandon Lewis is almost identical to the mean average salary of a UK citizen, yet that was just a bonus payoff."

Labour wanted to overhaul the rules to ensure departing ministers were limited to a quarter of their actual earnings over the previous year.

READ MORE: Norfolk MPs' second jobs, donations and gifts in 2023

It would also claw back compensation if individuals return to the front bench while still benefiting from the severance pay.

Labour’s motion to introduce a Bill was defeated by 275 votes to 192, although Cabinet Office minister Esther McVey said she was prepared to review the rules.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Cabinet Office minister Esther McVeyCabinet Office minister Esther McVey (Image: PA)

Sir Brandon was among the Conservatives who voted against the motion, as did South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith and Waveney MP Peter Aldous.


Afterwards, he said: "I am proud of my record as a government minister, and as a local MP, where I continue to work hard for Great Yarmouth; lobbying for the vital infrastructure that we need and building on successes such as the Third River Crossing, which has recently opened.

"That is just one example of the millions of pounds of local investment I have secured.

"That is my focus rather than opposition games built around party political point scoring."

Sir Brandon has previously come in for criticism because of the number of jobs he has, in addition to his £86,584-a-year MP role.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Sir Brandon LewisSir Brandon Lewis (Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Including being an MP, he has seven jobs, earning him almost £487,000 a year.

One of the roles is as a senior adviser for investment firm LetterOne, founded by Russian oligarch billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven - placed on the UK’s sanctions list following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

While Letter One has restructured itself to comply with sanctions, the businessmen still own 49pc of the shares.