MPs told to return pay-off

FORMER Labour cabinet ministers should hand back the £20,000 pay-off they received on leaving government to apologise for running up a huge budget deficit, the coalition government said yesterday.

In an attack that was dismissed as a “gimmick” by Labour, Conservative party chairman Baroness Warsi has written to MPs who served in Gordon Brown’s cabinet, accusing them of accepting “rewards for failure”.

“By running up colossal debts on the nation’s credit card… what Labour did to British people is frankly criminal,” she said at a press conference yesterday.

The coalition is trying to make sure that voters blame the previous government for swingeing public sector spending cuts planned by chancellor George Osborne.

A Labour spokeswoman dismissed Warsi’s claims as “pathetic” and “diversionary”.