SpAd Moves & Wonk Watch: Policy Exchange Reshuffle Edition

14 Apr

Policy Exchange seem to be getting on the front foot when it comes to think tanks’ influence over the Government, becoming further entwined with the Boris administration since No. 10 hired from their fold in February. Guido now learns PX has taken on Nusrat Ghani MP as a Senior Fellow researching Maritime Business and focusing on […]

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April SpAd Update

6 Apr

Whilst there remains no signs of a fully-updated internal SpAd list from No. 10 (they must have other priorities at the moment), hires and reshuffles are still going ahead. Guido brings you the latest: Cass Horowitz has been hired by Rishi Sunak, presumably as comms rather than policy judging by his history managing social media content […]

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Rees-Mogg Gets Brandon Lewis’s SpAd Leftovers

2 Apr

A couple of quiet SpAd moves have gone on amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, with Guido revealing this morning that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has scooped up ITN’s Angus Walker after 20 years with the broadcaster. After No. 10 scooped Hugh Bennet from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s office, Guido also learns Rees-Mogg is bringing Fred de Fossard on […]

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No. 10 Launch Spad Recruitment Website

27 Feb

The exponential rise in reporting on SpAds has finally culminated in a shake-up of recruitment ordered by No. 10, including the launch of spadjobs.uk, both to increase transparency in the recruitment process, and to encourage more corporate and professional appointments. Guido’s not sure Downing Street will attract corporate professionals with current SpAd pay grades… It’s […]

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Hugh Bennett & Steph Lis Move to Number 10

27 Feb

Our former news editor, Hugh Bennett, has moved across to Number 10, after six months of working as a special adviser to Jacob Rees-Mogg. He will be working for former Vote Leave colleague Oliver Lewis, in Number 10’s EU negotiations unit – guaranteeing that the UK will be in control of its laws, money, borders, […]

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List of Special Advisers and Salaries released by DoF

14 Feb

It’s taken a lot longer than anticipated for the list of names and salaries to be released, but late this afternoon the Department of Finance issued the list and numbers. Whern the updated Code of Conduct was released, the maximum pay ceiling was also capped at less than a ministerial salary in the recently announced review and the Department undertook to assess the CV of the names brought to them by each Minister in order work out an appropriate salary … Read more

List of Special Advisers and Salaries released by DoF

14 Feb

It’s taken a lot longer than anticipated for the list of names and salaries to be released, but late this afternoon the Department of Finance issued the list and numbers. Whern the updated Code of Conduct was released, the maximum pay ceiling was also capped at less than a ministerial salary in the recently announced review and the Department undertook to assess the CV of the names brought to them by each Minister in order work out an appropriate salary … Read more

Dom’s ‘Network of Restaurant Spies’ Finds Dom

3 Feb

It was briefed over the weekend that not only is Dominic Cummings railing against SpAd’s lunches being paid for by journalists, he’s supposedly developed a network of spies in Westminster restaurants to enforce the crackdown. Pound Shop Beria or a wind-up of Lobby hacks? Unfortunately for Dom, the first SpAd identified by a spy was […]

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Interview: Jim Allister MLA talks about his Special Advisors bill…

2 Feb

Next Monday the Northern Ireland assembly order paper will contain a private members bill from one of the few non-government party MLAs in the chamber. That member is Jim Allister. His tenure in politics spans decades and he has been present over the course of many political changes including the function or dysfunction of local institutions, he issued a challenge to the Assembly members: “if people are serious about cleaning up this place then they should have nothing to fear … Read more

Special Advisers face new rules when they take up their posts, but recruitment process remains in hands of Ministers

20 Jan

This afternoon finance minister Conor Murphy published a new Code of Conduct for Special Advisers and a code governing their appointment, and details of the paybands (which now have a lower ceiling). The Code of Conduct goes further than other UK jurisdictions, requiring the use of official email systems, outlawing leaking of confidential information, quarterly publication of gifts, hospitality and meetings with external organisations and individuals.

SpAd Wages Revealed: Brassic Dom on Only Five-Figures

20 Dec

The Government has just released their Annual Report on Special Advisers, which details the wages of every SpAd in Whitehall. Guido has had an enjoyable time pouring over the details and has updated our comprehensive SpAd list to include their wages. Transparency is king… The top earners work for Boris in No. 10, though brassic Dominic […]

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Cummings Threatens SpAds as Civil Service Hold Up Resignations

1 Nov

As SpAds resign next week for the election, Dominic Cummings used his weekly meeting with them to issue threats over complacency. Guido understands Cummings told the bag carriers to thank their private offices as he will be asking ministers and civil servants if their SpAds are “sh*t or not”. Their performance during the election campaign […]

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SpAd List: Kwarteng Gets First SpAd

8 Oct

Following the resignation of Jo Johnson, his former SpAd Iain Mansfield has now joined BEIS as Kwasi Kwarteng’s first SpAd. A convenient transfer… Guido also learns that Simon Jones has left Downing Street’s Business Relations Department after 4 years of SpAd-ing, writing on his Facebook that he has “decided to take some [time] out to plan […]

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Downing Street Hires Digital Communications Chief from LadBible

9 Sep

Peter Heneghan has joined the Cabinet Office in Downing Street as head of digital communications, he was formerly in a similar role at LADbible and before that Buzzfeed. If anyone should know how to reach that difficult to reach Leave-backing-lads demographic, it is this Irishman. Strictly speaking Heneghan is not a SpAd he is a […]

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