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Four Tory losers

The recent general election meant several Tory scalps were taken. Here is a brief look at two impacting the payroll/reward professions and two others that are worth mentioning (if only in a tongue-in-cheek way).


Simon Kirby

Mr Kirby was appointed economic secretary to the Treasury by Theresa May when she became prime minister in July 2016. He lost his Brighton Kemptown seat to Labour.


He was the minister responsible for the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) as well as the development of the pensions dashboard. Both of these projects will have to be assumed by new people.


Jane Ellison

Financial secretary to the treasury (FST), Jane Ellison was also appointed by Theresa May in July 2016. She lost her Battersea seat to the Labour Party.


Ms Ellison was responsible, among other things, for overseeing the UK tax system. Significantly, she seemed to have a handle on the long-awaited post-implementation review of Real Time Information. Indeed, on 20 December 2016, she wrote to Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee saying:


“HMRC is working with interested parties to finalise the post-implementation review of RTI and expects to publish this in the first quarter of 2017. HMRC will use the review to address concerns raised about data quality including discrepancies between HMRC and employer records, as these continue to create inconsistency that can be costly to resolve for employers, their agents and HMRC.


“HMRC intends to use the findings of the review to inform prioritisation of issues and actions to address them. Education and guidance remains a priority with more effective targeting of help for employers who may be struggling to understand their obligations including new employers and employers at risk of getting a penalty for late filing.”


Goodness knows where this post-implementation review is in reality. I expect that the new FST will take this over and it will be interesting to see whether the report still lays blame for errors on “struggling” employers or whether it acknowledges that HMRC itself might have a role to play in RTI issues.


Gavin Barwell

Mr Barwell was a housing minister who lost his Croydon Central seat to Labour Party, who overturned a Tory majority of 165 into a Labour one of 6,652. However, he has two things to fall back on now that he is not a MP:


  1. Royalties from his book ‘How to win a marginal seat’, written after his 2015 general election victory in Croydon Central
  2. He is now Mrs May’s new chief of staff, following the resignation of her advisers Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy


Ben Gummer

The Conservative manifesto is widely attributed to be one of the reasons that Mrs May’s party did not get the outright majority that it was expecting.


A fitting consolation to Conservative supporters, perhaps, is that the author and former cabinet office minister Ben Gummer lost his Ipswich seat, also to Labour.

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