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LONDON — A posh Downing Street job title on the CV was once a ticket to go up to Westminster. But Liz Truss and her loyal band of followers are unlikely to find the post-diet gravy train offering the same riches as their predecessors.
While former prime ministers, chancellors and some of their behind-the-scenes staff have notoriously cashed in after leaving office, earning millions giving speeches, signing lucrative book deals and being recruited for big consultancy work , industry figures say the outlook is less bright for Truss and his closest allies, who held power for just 45 days before being forced to step down amid market turbulence.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May, who herself came under pressure to step down after failing to win support for her Brexit plans, earned more than £1.86million in her first two years after returning to the backbench. She secured more than £127,000 ($150,000) for a single speech in Florida earlier this year.
Boris Johnson, who only left office in September after a series of scandals, has already been paid £276,130 for a speech to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers in Washington.
But Truss – Britain’s shortest prime minister – is unlikely to attract such big names if she too wants to go down that road.
A former speaking agency employee said that Truss is unlikely to cross the $100,000 mark, with his market value more likely to be in the territory of $75,000 per speaking.
The ‘revolving door’ at 10 Downing Street has ‘significantly devalued’ the value of former Prime Ministers, said the ex-employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that Truss was ‘not Maggie Thatcher”.
“There are a lot of options on the market right now – Cameron, Major, Brown, Blair, May are all on the market and still speaking, so there are a lot of choices,” they added. , by scrolling the list of ex. – Prime Ministers are now making the rounds.
In the month since she stepped down, Truss has kept a low profile. She was spotted ordering lunch in parliament, and last week was campaigning for a new hospital in his area.
Those who know her well insist the Tory MP left Downing Street with her head held high. She was “remarkably resilient” at her farewell party, Simon Clarke, a key ally who served in Truss’ cabinet, told Sky News earlier this month. “She was always exceptionally dignified and there was no self-pity,” he said.
Its first chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng – sacked after a disastrous mini budget that sent markets crashing – has been highly visible in Parliament since his dismissal, strolling around Portcullis House and laughing with friends, seemingly oblivious to the world . However, a friend who dined with Kwarteng recently said he was “destroyed” by what happened under the Truss administration.
It is common for former chancellors to land lucrative new jobs, with companies calling on the expertise of those who served as the UK’s top finance minister.
After landing an almost comical number of post-government jobs, including stints as newspaper editor and fund manager, George Osborne is now a full-time banker at investment firm Robey Warshaw. His successor, Philip Hammond, holds several paid positions, including as a partner in the investment firm Buckthorn Partners and as an economic adviser to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Yet a former political adviser, who left government before Truss became prime minister, was skeptical that Kwarteng will have the same opportunity to cash in.
Before entering politics, Kwarteng worked for Odey Asset Management as an analyst, and while the former adviser joked that Odey could bring him back, they wondered if he would have many other options.
“Are the clients whose money you manage really going to trust you? I don’t think so – they’ve lost control of the markets,” the former adviser said.
In an interview earlier this month, Kwarteng sought to distance himself from the decisions of the Truss administration, telling TalkTV he advised him to “slow down” and take a “more methodical and strategic approach” to boosting the growth. Kwarteng’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Behind the scenes reflection
While Truss and Kwarteng still have their £84,000-a-year jobs as MPs to fall back on, advisers who worked with them and were not retained by Truss’ successor Rishi Sunak will have to find new gigs.
Most will have received a three-month severance package, and some have even posted photos on Instagram of palm-lined beaches or hiking in Africa.
But senior public affairs officials say those with no jobs to return to could struggle to get the lucrative jobs some members of Boris Johnson’s team scooped up over the summer.
While some of Johnson’s ex-advisers who jumped ship earlier this year signed up for ‘very big six-figure salaries’ from major London public affairs agencies over the summer, according to a boss at Well-connected consultancy involved in recruiting, on former Truss aides are unlikely to work anywhere near those sums.
“We wouldn’t be looking to hire a member of this team,” the strategist said.
Disastrous Tory poll results, which put the opposition Labor party on course to win power in the next election due in 2024, are also not helping to inflate the salaries of former Tory advisers.
“Their market value is probably not as high as it was in the summer given the debacle that has happened in such a short time, and given that many agencies are looking for people with work ties,” added the head of the consulting firm.
The former adviser who moved into the private sector earlier this year said it more clearly.
“If you think about how disastrous these six weeks have been, if you think the main thing ex-SpAds are doing is getting back into the consulting world and companies are paying for advice, are you really going to trust to people’s judgment after this palaver? ?” they said.
“If I were them I would hide the fact that I have been in administration before, I wouldn’t even put it on my LinkedIn profile,” they added.
But former Team Truss members are more optimistic, with one saying the economic meltdown didn’t show up in potential jobs talks they had. The same person pointed out that many of their cohort had previous experience before joining the Truss administration.
“People know it wasn’t them who made those disastrous decisions – it was about Liz and Kwasi,” a current SpAd said of former staffers.
“Most people advised against it or weren’t in the room when the decisions were made,” agreed a former Truss adviser.
“There are a lot of very smart people in there. They will eventually fall on their feet. It will just take time to understand, ”added the boss of the consulting firm quoted above.
Jack Blanchard contributed reporting.