Taxpayer handed Nick Clegg close to the £115,000 maximum in expenses for carrying out ‘public duties’ last year despite the ex-deputy PM taking a full-time Facebook job with a £1MILLION salary
- Nick Clegg was granted £115,000 allowance using only handed to ex-PMs
- Public Duty Cost Allowance covers expenses for duties related to previous roles
- Sir Nick received close to maximum despite five months in £1m Facebook job
Nick Clegg claimed £113,000 for carrying out ‘public duties’ last year – despite taking a full-time job with Facebook boasting a seven-figure salary.
The Lib Dem former deputy PM was paid close to the annual maximum for the allowance, which is normally only handed to ex-premiers.
But for the last five months of the year Sir Nick was in a high-profile role as head of communications for the tech giant, which has seen him relocate to San Francisco with his family.
Tory MPs told MailOnline the situation was a ‘disgrace’, but a spokesman for Sir Nick said he abided by the rules and has voluntarily stopped claiming the allowance.
The Cabinet Office pays former PMs expenses to cover the costs of staffing an office and fulfilling tasks related to their previous roles. They must file receipts to prove their outgoings.
Lib Dem former deputy PM Nick Clegg (pictured in London last month) was paid close to the annual maximum for the Public Duty Cost Allowance last year
Mr Clegg pictured with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (left) and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg last year
Sir Nick was controversially permitted to claim the Public Duty Cost Allowance (PDCA) after he was evicted from Parliament when the Lib Dems were routed at the 2015 election.
According to the latest Cabinet Office accounts, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Sir John Major all claimed close to the £115,000 ceiling in 2018-19.
David Cameron, who has been earning large sums from corporate speeches and is about to release a lucrative memoir, was paid just over £110,000.
Sir Nick, who was Mr Cameron’s deputy in the coalition government between 2010 ad 2015, claimed £112,882 – around £2,000 below the maximum permitted in a year.
He was appointed head of Facebook’s global affairs and communications team in mid-October, reportedly with a £1million salary, and bought a £5million mansion near San Francisco shortly afterwards.
A spokesman for Sir Nick said he had stopped claiming the PDCA in December – but admitted he had already spent nearly the maximum for the year by then.
‘Sir Nick Clegg claimed the PDCA allowance in 2018-2019 in full accordance with the Cabinet Office guidelines, to contribute towards the costs of running a private office and supporting his role in public life,’ the spokesman said.
‘Sir Nick wrote to the Cabinet Office in October 2018 to state that he would not make any further claims on the PDCA after his office closed in December 2018.
‘The final backdated claim was therefore submitted in November 2018. Sir Nick has never received any personal salary from the PDCA.
‘Recipients of the PDCA have always been allowed to earn money commercially as part of their wider work.
Sir Nick bought a £5million mansion near San Francisco shortly after taking the Facebook job
‘But Nick Clegg decided – voluntarily – that he did not want to do so whilst receiving the PDCA going forward.’
Tory MP Nigel Evans said: ‘What a snout, what a trough.
‘But we are paying. It is a complete disgrace.’
The latest Cabinet Office accounts said: ‘The PDCA is a reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office and secretarial costs arising from fulfilling public duties to a maximum of £115,000.
‘Additionally, in 2015 the PDCA was extended to the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Sir Nick Clegg, although in October 2018 he informed the Cabinet Office that 2018-19 would be the last year in which he would be claiming the allowance; he is entitled to the full amount of £115,000 in 2018-19.’
On top of the allowance, up to another £15,0000 can be claimed for staff pensions.
David Cameron and Tony Blair both received close to the ceiling for the PDCA last year