Boris Johnson’s press secretary has defended Dominic Cummings’ £45,000 pay rise – claiming it took him to the “correct level of salary” for his role as a “most important” special adviser.
The salary raise to up to £144,999 provoked anger for rewarding an individual whose trip to Barnard Castle during the first lockdown has been cited as undermining public confidence in the Government.
Cummings is in the process of leaving his role as Boris Johnson’s chief adviser after a bitter public power struggle gripped Number 10.
Labour said the “bumper bonus” was an insult to public sector workers receiving a pay freeze after a Cabinet Office report showed Cummings was paid the equivalent of £140,000-£144,999, up from £95,000-£99,999 last year.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said: “It’s the case that Dominic Cummings’ revised salary reflected the fact that up until his departure he was one of if not the most important special adviser.
“And the new salary he received was in line with the salary chiefs of staff and people of that rank receive. It was not that his new salary took him over and above what you would expect for the kind of role he performed.”
Stratton, who earns between £125,000 and £129,999, added: “It’s the correct level of salary for the role that Dominic Cummings performed.”
The overall cost of special advisers, known in Westminster as Spads, was £9.6 million in the year up to April 2020, the same as in the previous period.
Former communications chief Lee Cain, who left Downing Street last month along with his Vote Leave ally Cummings, was paid between £140,000 and £144,999, the same as the previous year.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings when he broke lockdown rules – then awarded him a £50,000 pay rise. Yet he’s freezing pay for key workers and refusing to give our care workers a pay rise to the living wage.
“Cummings’ bumper bonus is an insult to key workers denied the pay rise they deserve. It’s another example of how under this Government, it is one rule for the Tory Party and their friends and another for the rest of us.”
Since you are here
Since you are here, we wanted to ask for your help.
Journalism in Britain is under threat. The government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and our media is run by a handful of billionaires, most of whom reside overseas and all of them have strong political allegiances and financial motivations.
Our mission is to hold the powerful to account. It is vital that free media is allowed to exist to expose hypocrisy, corruption, wrongdoing and abuse of power. But we can't do it without you.
If you can afford to contribute a small donation to the site it will help us to continue our work in the best interests of the public. We only ask you to donate what you can afford, with an option to cancel your subscription at any point.
To donate or subscribe to The London Economic, click here.
The TLE shop is also now open, with all profits going to supporting our work.
The shop can be found here.
You can also SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER .