Mr Christopher Chope MP - connected parties

Request

Please confirm if this MP employs his wife, Christo, in any capacity.

If YES please confirm1.her salary;2. length of service;3.the costs of her employment i.e NI, superannuation etc;4.provide a copy of her job description;5.confirm the costs of her redundancy payment if her husband looses his seat at the next election.

In addition please provide details of any ‘ severance’ or ‘redundancy’ monies that Chope would be entitled to if he lost his seat at the next `election.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

Under the Scheme of MPs' Business Costs and Expenses ('the Scheme'), IPSA will not pay the salaries or other costs of any new employees who are connected parties and are employed on or after 9 June 2017.

For connected parties employed before this date, their continued employment is not in any way affected. MPs must declare whether or not the staff member falls within the definition of a connected party when registering the individual with IPSA.

At the end of each financial year, we publish information on each MP’s expenditure over the course of the year. This includes information relating to any connected parties employed during the year, including their name, job title, salary band and whether they were employed full or part time.

I can confirm that Mr Christopher Chope, MP does employ his wife as a member of his staff. The information you have requested is available on IPSA’s website.

Click on ‘other financial information’. Then click on ‘connected party payroll information’.

A breakdown of MPs’ staff payscales and job descriptions can be found in the guidance for MPs section of our website.

Information related to payments made to MPs who lose office is available under Chapter 8 – ‘’Winding up costs and payments upon losing office’’, in the Scheme referred to above.

As some of the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

Whilst IPSA has published Mr Chope’s wife’s pay band which is in accordance with our publication policy, we will not disclose specific salary information, where we believe this would be in breach of our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation. This information is exempt under s.40 FOIA (Personal Information).

Exemption

Section 40 – Personal Information

Specific information relating to the salaries, dates of employment or any other working arrangements of staff members is ‘personal data’, as defined by the General Data Protection Regulation. When considering whether or not it is appropriate to disclose personal data under the Freedom of Information Act, we must consider whether or not it would be ‘fair’ and ‘lawful’. It is unlikely to be in the reasonable expectations of staff members, especially those in comparatively junior roles, that personal information relating to their employment will be put into the public domain.

Section 40(2)(A) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if disclosure would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the DPA, where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential.

You can find out more information about personal data and FOI via guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on their website.

Section 40 FOIA is an absolute exemption, and is therefore not subject to a public interest test.

Ref:
CAS-134389
Disclosure:
March 28, 2019
Categories:
MPs' STAFFINGMPs' CONNECTED PARTIES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 40