Partygate boss Sue Gray “doubles” her £1.8million pension with her six-figure salary from her role as Keir Starmer’s new fixer
- Sue Gray, 65, receives an annual pension of between £85,000 and £90,000
- She will be on a £140,000 salary from September when she works for the Labor Party
- The size of Ms Gray’s pension pot has apparently caused a stir in Whitehall
Partygate investigator Sue Gray has a £1.8m pension pot to draw from while also receiving a six-figure salary from Sir Keir Starmer as his new fixer, The Mail on Sunday has found.
Ms Gray, 65, found herself at the center of a political storm when it was announced she was leaving the civil service to become chief of staff to the Labor leader.
In the so-called “double-dipping” case, the former civil servant will receive an annual pension of between £85,000 and £90,000 after leaving Whitehall and will receive her estimated £140,000 salary when she starts working for the Labor Party in September.
She can also receive a lump sum pension of between £256,000 and £260,000.
Earlier this month, an inquiry by the Cabinet Office concluded that Ms Gray’s failure to disclose her contacts with Sir Keir – at a time when she was second secretary of state in the senior-level department – constituted a prima facie breach of the Civil Service Act.
Partygate investigator Sue Gray has a £1.8m pension pot to draw from while also receiving a six-figure salary from Sir Keir Starmer as his new fixer, The Mail on Sunday has found
Earlier this month, an inquiry by the Cabinet Office concluded that Ms Gray’s failure to disclose her contacts with Sir Keir Starmer – at a time when she was second secretary of state in the senior-level department – constituted a prima facie breach of the Civil Service Code
The move by Ms Gray, who conducted the Partygate inquiry into Boris Johnson’s behavior at 10 Downing Street during the pandemic, sparked a dispute over the neutrality of the public service.
The size of Mrs Gray’s pension fund, substantial even by the standards of gilded public service, has caused a stir in Whitehall.
One source even claimed it may have been “supplemented by the intelligence community.”
Ms Gray has been faced with unsubstantiated allegations that when she suddenly left Whitehall in 1985 at the age of 27 to work with her husband at The Cove Bar in Northern Ireland, she was operating undercover as a spy.
The now-closed bar was located just 10 minutes from the Irish Republic border in “bandit country” in rural County Down, an area teeming with IRA gunmen.
When asked in an interview with the BBC in 2021 if she had been a spy, she replied: “I know you’ve been accused of that, um, and, um, I think if I were a spy, I’d be a pretty bad spy!”
“When people talk about me being a spy, I think people here have put a lot of trust in me and they’ve put a lot of trust in me and, um, um, you know, we worked really well together and I didn’t think I’d be working remotely like I am.”
Eight weeks into working at the bar, her husband Bill Conlon – the lead singer of a country and western band called Emerald – decided he “hated” it and returned to London. Mrs. Gray followed within a year.
Ms Gray resigned from the Cabinet Office in March after news leaked of her tipped appointment.
This was also before the role had been discussed with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, the body that reviews the roles civil servants assume after leaving Whitehall.
Sources said she had been in contact with Labor for more than four months at the time. Ms Gray declined to comment.
Data from the Cabinet Office last week showed that civil servants are retiring three years earlier, at 62, than the national average of 65, thanks to their generous pensions.