PMQs watch live: Rishi Sunak faces Keir Starmer
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The MP for North West Hampshire spoke with GB News presenter Gloria De Piero who will be airing the full interview at 6pm Sunday on her segment ‘Gloria Meets’. Mr Malthouse described being asked to step down from his position by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as “brutal”.
The former minister said: “I mean, look, he [Rishi Sunak] was very polite about it, and I was offered another position, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to do.
“And I don’t think it’s any secret that over the previous year there had been a kind of divergence of view, should we say, about economic policy.
“In this game, you’ve always got to have your bag packed. And, you know, it is brutal. But look – I did 49 days, it was fascinating.”
He noted in the interview how he struggled with Liz Truss’s infamous budget after Malthouse dedicated his political career to implementing low tax.
The former secretary further went on to explain how he felt “frustrated” about being let go and added: “We got the department in a position where we were just about to set off; hopefully the team that succeeded will do exactly that.
“I was obviously disappointed. I was offered a job that would have been interpreted as a demotion. But you’ve always got to have your bag packed, and you’ve always got to have a Plan B.”
On how he found out he was about to lose the senior Government position, Mr Malthouse explained: “You get a phone call, you get asked to see the Prime Minister at a particular time.
“Then you sort of know something’s up, because I think if it’s negative, you get asked to see him in the house, and if it’s positive, you get the walk up Downing St.
“And so, you get a hint pretty early on. But to be honest with you, I kind of guessed during the leadership that that was the way things were going to go.
You know, the upside is that those views that I was giving in private can now be given in public.”
Mr Malthouse also said that his wife and children were “upset” by his sacking.
He said: “They’d rather I’d have stayed where I was. But I’ve kind of conditioned everybody in the family to the fact that politics is a kind of random game; you just don’t know what is going to happen to you from one day to the next.
“Certainly we’ve been through a very turbulent few years! I mean, I was elected in 2015. We’ve had three general elections, several leaders, two monarchs, a pandemic, a war.
I mean, anything could happen, right? I mean the kids are quite happy that they’re seeing more of me, which is great.”
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The MP also addressed the controversial guidance recently announced by the expenses watchdog IPSA which will allow MPs to claim food and decorations for Christmas parties during the current cost of living crisis.
Mr Malthouse said: “It’s totally bonkers, I don’t understand where this has come from.
“I don’t know a single MP who’s asked for this. I think any MP who would claim some kind of party on IPSA expenses is out of their mind.”
IPSA has since said that since issuing the guidance, many MPs have contacted the organisation to say that “they have never made such claims in the past and have no intention of doing so in the future”.
The watchdog chief Ian Todd has since apologised and said: “We got the messaging wrong by allowing the impression to form that this is what MPs were wanting to do, rather than our interpretation of the discretion available under the existing rules.”
He added: “In issuing it, we also failed to recognise the public mood at a time of severe economic and financial pressures. I am sorry for that.”
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