Miliband accuses Cameron of lack of leadership over top pay

Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused the Prime Minister of a failure of leadership over the issue of executive pay after David Cameron refused to make banks publish details of staff earning over £1m.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Miliband called on Cameron to “trigger” powers contained in legislation already passed by Parliament which would make banks disclose how many people earn over £1m. He said Chancellor George Osborne supported the proposals in opposition, and called for the banks to publish the names of their top paid staff.

Cameron said banks are now made to publish the pay of their top eight earners and that Lord Walker who recommended disclosure of numbers of staff earning more than £1m said it should not be done by the UK unilaterally.

Miliband said: “Exactly what we would expect. No leadership on top pay from this Prime Minister. In case he has not heard the news, more than eight people are earning more than £1 million at our banks. It is another broken promise from this Government.”

The political argument over executive pay and banker bonuses has intensified over recent weeks. Political parties have been battling to be seen as the toughest on cracking down on “crony” or “predatory” capitalism.

Earlier this week, RBS chief executive Stephen Hester turned down a bonus of almost £1m after Miliband moved to put the matter to a Parliamentary vote which would not have been binding on Hester but would have increased the pressure on him to such a point it would have been difficult for him to hold onto the payment. Labour MPs accused Cameron of a failure of leadership.

Yesterday, David Cameron announced that RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin would lose his knighthood. A very rare move without criminal conviction or professional body complaint. Recinding the Knighthood was decided by the Forfeiture Committee based in the Cabinet Office.