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Francis_maude_mpShadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has pressed the Prime Minister over the rather fraught issue of Lord Falconer’s pension. In November 2007 the Telegraph reported that Lord Falconer was ready to sue Gordon Brown over the size of his pension. Lord Chancellors have historically had generous arrangements to reflect the fact that they have to give up legal careers when they assume the role. Lord Falconer was reported to believe that he was entitled to a pension twice what the Cabinet Office had in mind, i.e. £52,193, according to the Telegraph.

A £100,000 plus pension would not go down well in the current climate, if ever.

Mr Maude has asked the Prime Minister about Lord Falconer’s pension:

"Mr. Maude: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 541W, on Ministers: pensions, whether Lord Falconer of Thoroton is to receive (a) a pension equivalent to that received by other Secretaries of State in the House of Lords, (b) a pension entitlement derived from the provisions of the Lord Chancellor’s Pension Act 1832 as amended or (c) a pension settlement on another basis in respect of his service as Lord Chancellor; and if he will make a statement. [258692]

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave the right hon. Member on 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 541W."

The 28 January answer referred Mr Maude to an answer Gordon Brown had given to Mark Hoban in October 2007, which had referred Mr Hoban to an answer Tony Blair had given to Oliver Heald in 2003!

"Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs will receive the pension entitlement of the Lord Chancellor (a) during the planned transition period before the proposed abolition of the office and (b) subsequently, if the office is abolished; and if he will make a statement. [120022]

The Prime Minister: No. The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs has elected to receive only a salary and pension equivalent to that received by other Secretaries of State in the House of Lords."

It would be helpful – for the public if not the Labour Party – if a specific figure could be put on Lord Falconer’s pension entitlement.

Tom Greeves

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