Liz Truss claims from fund for ex-prime ministers - despite being UK's briefest resident of No 10

Liz Truss delivering her farewell speech in Downing Street Credit: PA Images

Liz Truss - Britain's shortest-serving prime minister - has been claiming from the £115,000-a-year public fund awarded to former premiers.

The Conservative MP, who served for just 49 days, claimed £23,310 in her first five months out of office.

The figure was revealed in the Cabinet Office accounts which were released today (Tuesday 19 September).

It was understood she has continued to claim in the current financial year that started in April, but the sum will not be disclosed until next year’s report.

Ms Truss’s office declined to comment.

More information on the ex-Prime Minister fund

What is the fund for?

The fund - officially called Public Duty Cost Allowance - affords former prime ministers up to £115,000 a year to cover office and secretarial costs arising from public duties.

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Has any previous leader claimed the full amount?

Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major were the only former leaders to claim the maximum amount in 2022/23, though Gordon Brown was close on £114,627.

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Who else claimed from the fund?

David Cameron, who was Prime Minister, between 2010 and 2016 claimed £108,312 for 2022/2023.

His successor Lady Theresa May, who was in Number 10 until 2019, claimed £113,422.

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The South West Norfolk MP’s tenure in No 10 ended on October 25 after losing the support of her fellow Tory MPs.

On Monday she defended her economic crisis-inducing mini-budget a year on from her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng unveiling the £45 billion package of unfunded tax cuts.

She hit out at economists and “institutional bureaucracy” for her downfall as she hinted at further plans to intervene in Tory politics at the party conference next month.

But in an interview with ITV News earlier this year, Ms Truss did admit she would have done things differently "knowing what happened".

After she announced her resignation, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was among those arguing that Ms Truss should “turn down” taking money from the fund because of the brief time spent in No 10.

The Liberal Democrats’ Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to “do the right thing and stop Liz Truss from claiming taxpayers’ cash from the ex-PM fund”.

“It’s an outrage that while families struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table, Liz Truss profits from her own failure,” she said.

“If Liz Truss wants to cut tax she should lead by example and stop taking hardworking British taxpayers for a ride by claiming handouts.”

The Cabinet Office accounts also detailed the total cost of Boris Johnson’s taxpayer-funded legal defence to the inquiry that found he lied to MPs over partygate.

The final cost was put at £263,079, in line with what the department had previously revealed.

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