5 June 2009
The BBC is reporting that Yvette Cooper is to be appointed as secretary of state for work and pensions, replacing James Purnell who resigned last night in an attempt to topple Gordon Brown.
Yvette Cooper was formerly chief secretary to the treasury. She is married to the children’s secretary Ed Balls. Both are Brown loyalists.
Both Cooper and Balls have been implicated in the MPs expenses scandal. They both claimed twice for mortgage payments in July 2006, but the duplicate claims were spotted and refused by the Fees office. They were also investigated, but exonerated by the Fees office in relation to the designation of their £655,000 North London home as their second home.
Between them they generally claim £600 a month for food, a great deal more than the entire income of most of the claimants that Ms Cooper will now be responsible for. Each receives a salary of £141, 866 a year, giving a combined income of £283,732 a year - or £777 a day.
Small wonder then, that they need help with the food bills.