LONDON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Politicians and labor leaders went on the attack Friday over the bonus awarded the head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, mostly owned by the British government.
Stephen Hester is to receive almost 1 million pounds ($1.55 million), about half what he got last year.
"Well this is a terrible failure of leadership by the prime minister," Miliband said. "For months he's been promising action against excessive bonuses, excessive pay, and now he's nodded through a million pound bonus for Stephen Hester."
Some of Cameron's fellow Conservatives and his Liberal Democrat allies attacked the bonus. London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was with Cameron at the World Economic Forum in Davos, called it "absolutely bewildering."
Karen Jennings of UNISON, Britain's largest union, called the bonus "utterly immoral," the Daily Mirror reported.
RBS' stock price dropped significantly in 2011 but the agency that manages the government's 83 percent holding in the bank argued that Hester did a good job in building for the future.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the government stays out of management decisions, so Hester's compensation is up to the bank's board.